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River Central seeking input

Five neighboring municipalities in the Lehigh Valley are joining forces to develop a vision of their future.

Catasauqua, North Catasauqua and Northampton boroughs and Hanover (Lehigh County) and East Allen townships are developing a joint comprehensive plan - River Central.

A comprehensive plan is a long-term vision for community development, land use, traffic management and a host of other issues that will guide public policy for possibly the next two decades.

This comprehensive plan is expected to be a 10-year renewable plan, according to East Allen Township Manager Brent Green. Green is the River Central steering committee chairperson.

Organizing regionally, community leaders say, makes sense in the modern world where community issues, costs, transportation, crime and many other issues expand beyond residential boundaries. Many planners suggest regionalization and municipality combinations are prudent decisions to control costs and provide better resident services.

River Central’s steering committee members began meeting more than a year ago. Their efforts were stifled in 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group has now reached the public engagement part of its development, including distributing an important survey designed to find out the priorities of residents, nonprofits, businesses and any stakeholder in the five-community region.

The survey can be found at surveymonkey.com/r/rivercentral.

Green said he is impressed by the excitement for this project and increased membership in the effort.

“I expect this to be an ongoing active endeavor,” he said.

He expects the plan will be continuously, closely monitored for effectiveness.

Green emphasized the importance of those with an interest in good government, efficient tax dollar use and a better community future completing the 10-question survey. There are eight additional optional questions, so the full survey is 18 questions.

More information on the plan can be found at planrivercentral.org.

River Central meets the second Tuesday of each month. The next meeting is 7 p.m. July 13.

It is a virtual meeting. Call the East Allen Township office at 610-262-7961 for the meeting access codes, or visit tiny.cc/RiverCentranPlanMtg to access the meeting.