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Upper Macungie Twp supervisors approve land development plans, recreation programs


Special to The Press

Upper Macungie supervisors met in-person Feb. 4 to review their regular meeting agenda.

To begin, the board approved an ordinance setting a weight restriction and erecting signage on Crackersport Road.

Township Manager Bob Ibach noted an evaluation study had been performed on the existing culvert on the roadway, and the best course of action would be to enact a 25-ton weight limit.

Under resolutions, the board approved establishing the tax collector compensation rate for 2022-25.

Ibach said before a municipal election is held in the year where a tax collector is elected, the local municipality has the responsibility to set the salary for the new term.

The board voted to keep the salary at the current rate of $16,000 per year.

Next, the board heard and approved a revised final phasing plan for the Lehigh Hills 5 Subdivision, Phase 2, at 1670 Route 100.

Community Development Director Daren Martocci noted there was an approved 255-lot subdivision, but the applicant was proposing a new plan to break the development into two sections for reporting purposes as permitted by the township SALDO.

No other revisions were proposed.

The board also approved a preliminary land development plan and associated waiver for the Yourway facility expansion at 6681 Snowdrift Road.

Martocci said the board had recently granted a minor land development plan on the site a few months ago for a building addition, and the new request proposed a 76,000-square-foot pharmaceutical storage warehouse, a 14,000-square-foot, five-story tall testing facility for clinical trials, a 2,000-square-foot entrance building and a pedestrian bridge.

Additionally, a fourth resolution was approved to grant preliminary/final approval and a waiver request for a land development plan for a new truck staging area at 400 Nestle Way, which Martocci said included a proposed trailer staging parking lot with 11 spots.

Supervisor Sean Gill recommended the township start looking at including information in the SALDO about having distribution facilities and commercial facilities invest in the installation of snow brakes for community safety reasons, making note of the recent heavy snowfall.

Board and staff members made note about including the necessary language, as Solicitor Andrew Schantz said the township is in the process of updating the SALDO.

In other matters, the board appointed Paul Jarrett to fill a vacancy on the Building Code Board of Appeals until Dec. 31, 2025, with Martocci making note of Jarrett’s qualifications as a building code inspector and official.

Supervisors also appointed Laurie Gostley-Hackett to the Upper Macungie Township Community Fund board, a 501(c)(3) organization organized to help fund and potentially run the township’s proposed community center.

Ibach noted Gostley-Hackett is the director of community relations and philanthropy at Air Products and comes to the fund with extensive fundraising experience and knowledge.

Supervisors approved the renewal of the 2020 retention pond mowing contract with All American Property Maintenance, for the second year in a 3-year total contract, at a cost of $9,180.

In a similar move, the advertisement of a 2021 lawn mowing contract for additional retention ponds was also approved, which Public Works Director Scott Faust said would also be for a three-year term, as well as for advertisement of bids for the township’s 2021 paving projects.

Next, the board approved the codification of township ordinances passed in 2020 for a quoted amount of $9,430.

A motion was also heard to authorize the township manager to coordinate with PennDOT for the Erik Hirner Memorial Motorcycle Ride.

Ibach said Hirner was a Reading firefighter, Lehigh Valley resident and an assistant chief in North Catasauqua who died several years ago.

He explained several of Hirner’s fellow firefighters have organized a memorial run from Reading to the Lehigh Valley Mall.

Ibach said Penn-DOT required a letter from each municipality that the group will pass through, and the board voted to have Ibach put the necessary letter together.

Two new recreation programs were approved by motion during the meeting; Girls on the Run and Wildlands Conservancy Camps.

For the former, recreation and events coordinator Lynn Matula said Girls on the Run is a national organization committed to developing confidence, physical and emotional health in young girls with running events and educational curriculum over a 10-week program.

The program would be starting April 5 at Grange Park, occurring twice per week, and at the end of the program in June there would be a 5K event.

Matula also said two different curricula would be offered for different age ranges.

The second program, Wildlands Conservancy nature camps, would be a new summer camp offering in the township through a partnership with the Wildlands Conservancy.

There will be three, weeklong camps at Breinigsville Park in June and two separate camps in July at Lone Lane Park and Upper Macungie Park.

The camps will be full-day, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is a per child fee.

During board and staff reports, police Lt. Peter Nickischer, sitting in for chief Michael Sitoski, reported the department was in its final league of its “no-shave” event which began in November, raising money for the Parkland C.A.R.E.S. food pantry.

He reported the department’s clerical staff was able to buy into the event as well, and that the township’s new female officers were also getting into the spirit of the event by wearing colored nail polish.

Nickischer reported nearly $3,000 has been raised by the department and community for the food pantry, and that in the four years the department has been holding the event they had raised nearly $10,600 for charities.

Additionally, township secretary Kalman Sostarecz Jr. noted that the township had recently switched to a new recycling/trash hauler, and that there were recent logistic issues due to the snowstorm.

He said residents can text the word UPPERMAC to 24587 and receive text alerts from Whitetail Disposal about any service alerts.

The next board of supervisors meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. March 4.