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Commissioners table proposed LVHN facility plan

Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners, at its Oct. 11 meeting, tabled any further discussion about Lehigh Valley Health Network’s proposed addition of a health care overlay zoning district.

Commissioner Joseph Marx withdrew his earlier motion to move the discussion to the township’s legal and legislative meeting, with the intent that the health network would come back to the board with more details in the following months.

The board of commissioners requested LVHN put together a phase I plan to be presented to the board that would disclose more information on the project’s intention. The possible health campus is looking to develop its property in the open lot across the street from the township building, 3219 MacArthur Road.

Board President Philip Ginder said once the board gets more information, it will make an educated decision on the project’s path moving forward.

In other business, a resident asked follow-up questions from the township tax office’s fraud investigation announced in January. The resident questioned whether the board was receiving the monthly treasury reports or audit reports.

Ginder said he understood the resident’s concerns, adding he is still waiting on material and “some of this stuff isn’t forthcoming.” He allowed township Treasurer Colleen Gober to speak on the matter, and she said she is getting as much done as she can.

During the treasury report, Gober reported the board would not be receiving the monthly report at the meeting because she was missing the daily report from Sept. 17 and a statement from a new account that was opened in August.

Gober also requested a time to speak with board Solicitor Jack Gross on what she is legally allowed to disclose on the fraud matter because the resident who appeared before the board, as well as other curious residents, has a right to know more information on what took place during the investigation.

Moving forward with the voting portion of the meeting, the board passed Bill 21 after its second appearance before the commissioners. The ordinance will amend definitions found in chapter 27 of zoning to reduce the negative impact on outdoor commercial cooking in residential neighborhoods.

Bill 29 was passed 6-1, with Marx voting against the ordinance. There was no further discussion between the board and the developer.

On the other hand, there was a lengthy discussion surrounding Bill 30 and the language of the ordinance regarding commercial development. Commissioner Jeffrey Warren felt the bill could potentially harm the township, but it was ultimately passed 6-1.

Bill 31 was also passed 7-0, with no additional comments.

King Kone has been approved for land development through resolution 3169. The property will be located at 4220 Wright Lane, 4124 Springmill Road and 4128 Springmill Road.

The grant for the historic Mickley Prydun Farm renovation for phase II was approved through resolution 3172. The funds will come from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

Bob Abbott has officially resigned as the Ironton Rail Trail liaison but has been reappointed to be the same role for the community at large through a motion. Many members of the board and Mayor Michael Harakal Jr. gave their gratitude to Abbott, who has served his community for years. Abbott will still be conducting Ironton Rail Trail tours with Ray Bieak.

Commissioner Charles Fisher discussed some Scout project opportunities during his report of public officials. Whitehall Township Environmental Advisory Council has a list of potential Scout projects in the Whitehall Parkway. Those who are interested should contact the committee through its Facebook page.

Ginder mentioned the commissioners will be holding interviews for boards and commissions Nov. 4.

The board of commissioners will meet again 7 p.m. Nov. 1 for its next monthly workshop meeting. For viewing instructions, visit whitehalltownship.org.