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Heidelberg board discusses public works items


Special to The Press

Several public works-related items were on the Heidelberg Township supervisors’ agenda for their July 15 meeting.

During his reports, Supervisor and Public Works Manager David Fink reported that at the previous month’s meeting, the board had discussed issues with people parking in front of fire hydrants in Heidelberg Heights.

He said according to state law it is illegal to park within 15 feet of a hydrant, and information on this issue will be posted in the next township newsletter.

Fink advised against posting signage around the hydrants, saying they would likely be taken down or vandalized.

He said Lehigh County Authority currently paints hydrants yellow, but added he did not find the color as “outstanding” as fire-engine red.

Fink asked the township to contact the LCA about painting the hydrant caps red for improved visibility.

Regarding the purchasing of shoes and coats for the road crew, Fink said there is a potential grant opportunity through Keystone Municipal Insurance Trust, which has $40,000 in a relevant program.

He said shoes and coats, which would cost approximately $1,500 in total, might be eligible for a grant, and would fall under the maximum application amount of $2,500.

Fink said Red Wing Shoes, South Cedar Crest Boulevard, Allentown. has a government discount program and will honor a township account.

He made a motion to cap shoe prices at $200 per employee and have them purchased at Red Wing, which the board accepted.

A second motion was made to cap coat purchases at $700 in total, which was also approved.

Township Administrator Janice Meyers noted the purchase of both articles of clothing may be on hold until the township finds out any potential qualifying dates under the grant application.

Additionally, a motion was also made to contract with UniFirst Corporation at a rate of $60 per week for uniform services and laundering was approved, conditioned upon whether the grant is received.

In other public works business, a proposal from Fink Ink, no relation to the supervisor, to provide signage for township vehicle doors at a cost of approximately $850 was approved.

Fink reported that approximately two months ago, the township sent a letter to PennDOT regarding the condition of Saegersville Road.

He said that while PennDOT recently milled the road, the work quality was found to be unsatisfactory.

Fink said he would look into resubmitting the letter.

During the fire company report Fink noted that the Good Egg food truck will be renting the faculty at Germansville Fire Company under a three-month contract as a prep area, and will also be bringing in some additional equipment.

He also reported that at a recent fire in New Tripoli the Germansville aerial unit sustained more than $1,100 worth of damage to its tip and controls.

Under the ambulance service report, board Chairman Steve Bachman said Northern Valley EMS continues to face difficulties hiring paramedics.

He said the service has increased salary rates to $25 per hour and changed its tuition reimbursement policy to include contract buyouts from other agencies, and hired two part-time paramedics.

For the Veterans Memorial Committee report, Bachman said work is continuing on the memorial, with the pillars having been recently poured, and the opening ceremony is planned for Memorial Day 2022.

In his director of office operations report, Supervisor Jonathan Jakum said several applications were received for the part-time office assistant position.

The board approved a motion to hire Debra Grundstrom to the position at an hourly wage of $12.50 for up to 16 hours per week.

In her report, Meyers noted that Senate Bill 554 was recently signed into law and amended portions of the Sunshine Act to require all boards and commissions post meeting agendas on the township’s website and meeting place at least 24 hours before the meeting time.

These rules go into effect Aug. 29.