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Board approves purchase of radios, advertising for new office position


Special to The Press

Heidelberg Township supervisors had several business items to address during their June 17 in-person meeting.

Regarding an upgrade to township radios, Supervisor David Fink reported pricing options had been received.

He said radios would be useful to keep in contact with contractors, staff and employees while oil and chipping or doing other road work.

Fink recommended purchasing five radios, noting there would be a 2-percent price increase in July.

The current unit price, $992, included the radio, base station and mounting bracket.

Yearly service rate for the radios costs $1,680.

Supervisors approved the purchase of five radios and mounting kits.

Four radios would be mounted in township vehicles, while the fifth would largely be kept as a spare or for communication with contractors.

Additionally, a request was heard to hire an additional office worker.

Supervisor Jonathan Jakum reported the permit and zoning office was swamped with applications and requests.

He said this was their “busiest year ever,” and staff were looking to hire a part-time office assistant to help out with the workload.

Township Administrator Janice Meyers said she proposed hiring a new employee for 16 hours per week from mid-July until the end of the year as the office needed help with filing and data entry.

Fink said he was uncertain about the hours per week and the six months, noting there might not be enough work in the future.

Meyers proposed changing the language to a maximum of 16 hours weekly with no specific end date but instead have the position end when the work was completed.

Board members approved of the revised language and approved a motion to advertise for the new position.

After a brief executive session at the beginning of the meeting to discuss employment matters, board Chairman Steve Bachman said the Veterans Memorial Committee was now targeting Memorial Day 2022 for the opening ceremony.

He said the project has raised $181,000 so far, and 2,425 veterans’ names have been collected to be listed on the memorial.

In other matters, Emergency Management Coordinator Dawn Didra said she was preparing letters to send to residents to update information in the emergency operation plan.

The letters will include questionnaires regarding residents who may need help evacuating in an emergency, as well as any resources they may have and be willing to use or share during an emergency situation.

Didra said that she was working with Germansville Fire Chief Jay Scheffler to establish a plan for setting burn bans.

She would also write an article for the township newsletter telling residents about burn safety and the township’s open burning ordinance.

In his report, engineer Chris Noll noted the township was still searching for sources of funding to replace the Buckery Road Bridge, which collapsed last August.

Noll also provided an update on the Fenstermacher Road project, which seeks to relocate and realign the existing road and its connection to Mountain Road.

He noted while there is movement to proceed with the project and begin paving, certain permits have not been submitted to PennDOT, which prevent any work from being done to establish the new connection.

Noll said there might be a securities issue with PennDOT when the permit is renewed, and this would need to be addressed, possibly by establishing a cash escrow or letter of credit.

Under new business, the board approved a motion to award seven of nine road material bids to Lehigh Asphalt Paving and Construction Company, the only vendor to submit bids for the materials.

A resolution was also approved to open a separate bank account for the $375,000 in federal funds the township received as part of the American Rescue Plan.

Meyers said funds will not need to be paid out until the end of 2026.

Lastly, the board also approved purchased a one-eighth page congratulatory advertisement for the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors’ Centennial Commemorative Booklet at a cost of $50.

The next supervisors’ meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. July 15.