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Whitehall board hears LVHN facility idea

During the Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners workshop meeting Oct. 4, representatives from Lehigh Valley Health Network discussed the lack of routine health care facilities in the township.

The health network was accompanied by civil engineer firm The Pidcock Company, and together, the two proposed the addition of a health care overlay zoning district.

The concept is still in the preliminary stage but suggests the addition of a neighborhood-style hospital equipped with an emergency room, inpatient beds, lab testing and imaging devices. This style of campus would be significantly smaller than the health network’s facility on Cedar Crest Boulevard, Salisbury Township, but will be fine-tuned to the community’s needs.

The board asked questions concerning the addition of a modest-grade hospital to the township, including its impact on traffic and taxable and nontaxable areas of the network.

LVHN proposed the discussion be moved to the township’s legal and legislative meeting Oct. 13 to further break down the proposed zoning district.

In other business, Bill 21 made its second appearance before the board during the workshop meeting. The ordinance aims to amend definitions found in chapter 27 of zoning to reduce the negative impact on outdoor commercial cooking in residential neighborhoods.

The commissioners first reviewed this bill during the July public meeting. There were no additional comments from the board during its recent review.

The commissioners also again reviewed Bill 29’s request for a sidewalk deferral, following its tabling at the September public meeting. The developer was present to reinforce that this is only a deferral request, and the property does plan on installing sidewalks along the frontage. The board is expected to vote on this matter at the Oct. 11 public meeting.

The final ordinance of the evening addressed the purchase of granular sodium chloride treated with liquid magnesium chloride - salt to treat township roadways in preparation for inclement weather - for the public works bureau. The only discussion came from board President Philip Ginder, who asked that an exact cost be prepared for next week’s meeting.

The board of commissioners discussed a grant for the historic Mickley Prydun Farm renovation for phase II through Resolution 3172. It would be coming from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. Ginder requested a grant breakdown be put together for the board. There was no further discussion.

The board of commissioners next meets 7 p.m. Oct. 11 for the voting portion of the monthly meetings. For viewing attendance, visit whitehalltownship.org and go to the board of commissioners subpage to find the live video link.