Northwestern Press

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Heidelberg board OKs 2019 budget

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 by Elsa Kerschner ekerschner@tnonline.com in Local News

There were no changes from the proposed $1,277,436 budget to that approved at the Nov. 29 meeting of Heidelberg Township supervisors.

Tax levies were set at: general, 1 mill; and for the fire tax, 0.4 mills.

The meeting opened with an executive session for real estate matters.

Fire Chief Jay Scheffler, Goodwill, Germansville, reported there will be a cheesesteak dinner on Dec. 8.

On Dec. 15, there will be a Breakfast with Santa and craft show from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Scheffler said firefighters responded to 149 calls. Lowhill Township will reimburse the fire company for those in its area.

Firefighter 1 personnel training is being offered. The state acknowledges the percent of Firefighter 1 members. Goodwill has 75 percent, he said.

The firetruck has been ordered and should be available next October.

Supervisors will be able to follow its construction on the website which will be supplied.

Finance committee member, Mike Yenser, will no longer be on the committee but Scheffler did not think the position would be filled.

He said there are 38,000 volunteers in the state. With members of Goodwill aging, it might be down to two in 10 years.

“Our crew is good but we need younger people,” he said.

Josh Bingham, emergency management coordinator, said real time messaging needs to be done.

Dianne Huber, ambulance liaison representative, said there have been positive comments on the new community service in which NOVA crew members will visit when medication information or other assistance is needed, but not an ambulance. Cost per visit will be $20.

A diagram of the building has been drawn with designated parking slots for NOVA, to leave room for the snowplows.

Roadmaster Kevin Huber said it has been a problem. There has been 100 percent coverage with average response at 7.67 minutes.

Supervisor Steve Bachman said it was the lowest he ever saw the response time.

Roadmaster Kevin Huber said snow plow equipment is on the trucks and ready to go. Bearings were needed in the chipper.

Trees and brush are being trimmed. Ramps to meet Americans with Disability Act requirements have been under discussion in Heidelberg Heights.

The Green Light Go project has been taken over by PennDOT’s critical corridors project at a cost of $23,000. The township received estimates in the $10,000 range.

Supervisor Jonathan Jakum said Dawn Didra, zoning officer, went to a meeting to fast track the Northwestern Lehigh athletic field project.

The district is expected to submit a land development plan and a variance request for impervious cover.

Township engineer Chris Noll and Didra continue to work on the township map, which is expected to be easier to update in the future.

Jan Sutermeister brought information about a possible public pool with a dome for the four townships and Fogelsville. She has sent out postcards to residents.

Some families responded saying they have their own pools and are not interested in a public one. A feasibility study found residents said it should be close to the school and they do not want taxes raised to pay for it.

She said some survey returns said a swimming pool is a private item.

Sutermeister said it should be a community pool with an endowment fund to make sure it can continue to survive financially.

There could be classes on water survival and firefighter training in wet suits. Senior citizens viewed the pool favorably. There would be a low entry area where they could walk in. The pool would meet Americans with Disabilities requirements.

There would be warm water for therapeutic groups and it would be at least 25 yards long which is sufficient for a swim team.

Bachman said the townships should have no ownership. Anticipated cost would be between $3 million and $5 million. Community organizations have offered help.