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Heidelberg board readies for 2021


Special to The Press

Heidelberg supervisors met Jan. 4, as did other townships of the second class in Pennsylvania, for their annual reorganization meeting.

During the virtual meeting, Supervisor Steve Bachman was reappointed board chairman and Supervisor Jonathan Jakum was selected vice chairman.

Janice Meyers will continue as township administrator, secretary and treasurer.

The treasurer’s bond was set at $700,000.

The law firm of Steckel and Stopp, Slatington, will continue as solicitor for 2021, and Keystone Consulting Engineers was named township engineer.

Supervisors also approved a motion to advertise the meeting dates for 2021.

Supervisors’ meetings will be 7:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month. Supervisor budget/special meetings are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 16, Oct. 21 and Nov. 18.

Planning commission meetings will be held as needed on the last Monday of each month. Zoning hearing board will be on the third Monday of the month, if needed, and the Environmental Advisory Council will meet the second Tuesday of the month. All meetings will be at 7:30 p.m.

For appointments, Mark Steidinger was selected for a four-year term on the planning commission until Dec. 31, 2024.

Michael Bailey was selected for a three-year term on the zoning hearing board. His term will expire Dec. 31, 2023.

Priscilla Brennan was chosen for a three-year term on the Environmental Advisory Council until Dec. 31, 2023.

She was also named EAC chairwoman.

For the Municipal Building Code Board of Appeals, Greg Snyder was appointed for a five-year term expiring Dec. 31, 2025. Lee Behler was named chairman of the vacancy board.

Keystone Consulting Engineers will serve as the township’s alternate zoning officer, alternate enforcement officer of all ordinances, alternate parking enforcement officer and alternate floodplain manager.

KCE was also appointed primary sewage enforcement officer and Scott Bieber was named alternate sewage enforcement officer.

Supervisor David Fink proposed a motion that LTL Consultants provide the township with an item-by-item fee schedule.

This was approved by the board.

Furthermore, Lehigh Valley Inspection Service was appointed building, plumbing and electrical inspector, and building code official for 2021.

In a related motion, the board voted to table the appointment of Blue Mountain Inspection Service to the building, plumbing and electrical inspector positions.

Barry Isett and Associates was appointed building, plumbing and electrical inspector at a rate set by a fee schedule resolution.

Additionally, Phyllis Breininger and Meyers were appointed voting delegate and alternate delegate to the Lehigh Tax Collection Committee for 2021.

Dawn Didra was named full-time zoning officer, enforcement officer of all other ordinances, parking enforcement officer, floodplain manager and office assistant for 2021.

Kevin Huber was named road superintendent, with Travis Moyer, Jonathan Pasieka and Daniel Watt as road crew workers.

Jakum was appointed director of office operations; Fink as director of public works and Bachman as director of parks and recreation.

A related motion to appoint Bachman as township representative for the Northwestern Recreation Committee, with Jakum and Fink as alternates, was also approved.

Another motion was passed to approve the three supervisors, township administrator, road superintendent and zoning officer to attend the 2021 PSATS conference. Meyers was named the township voting delegate.

Additional motions were approved including setting the township’s mileage reimbursement rate, employee pension contribution, employee contribution toward the health insurance premium, and 2021 fee schedule.

Finally, a motion was also made to continue the $1,500 stipend - paid in quarterly installments - to the township Emergency Management Coordinator for educational training, updating of the Emergency Operations Plan, and development of the Continuity of Operations Plan.

In other business, the board heard a request for landowners along Furnace Road to waive several SALDO review requirements.

Didra said there were no proposed locations shown on the plans of where a driveway or house were proposed to be constructed.

She wanted these locations to be included.

Fink proposed to table the request until reasonable diagrams of the proposed structures were included, as well as the completion of necessary soil perc tests, which the board accepted.

Supervisors also considered a contract with the Sanctuary at Haafsville to provide stray animal services for 2021.

Meyers said the board president at the Sanctuary had said the organization will not accept Heidelberg’s proposal to add a $900 cap to the contract, as was proposed at an earlier meeting.

She said the Sanctuary would be willing to accept the township setting limits on a certain number of dogs and cats which they would be willing to pay for, but would not accept a monetary cap.

Bachman asked if the township could reword the contract to state Heidelberg would only pay up to $900 in services, and then relinquish their responsibility and let the contract expire, noting the board was not in favor of leaving an open-ended amount.

The board voted to table the item to add new wording ensuring the contract expires of $900 and must be revisited and approved thereafter.

Supervisors also approved a motion sending a letter to PennDOT regarding a traffic study along Werleys Corner Road, and also requesting the installation of signs at crossroads prohibiting all trucks, except local deliveries.

The board agreed Northern Valley EMS would need to pay their invoice, in the amount of $231.26, over the CARES Act grant funding which the supervisors had divided between NOVA and Germansville Fire Company at an earlier meeting.