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2022 budget reallocates money from the library to building repairs

The Lower Milford Township Board of Supervisors met Nov. 18 without public comment.

The minutes of the Oct. 21 regular meeting and Nov. 4 workshop meeting were approved after an addition to the October minutes.

A Lower Milford Fire Department representative wanted his comments about the Lower Milford Fire Departments’ inquiry into the American Rescue Plan Act Fund added to the minutes. It was added and the minutes were approved.

There was news from the November workshop meeting regarding the 2022 budget.

During the workshop meeting, the supervisors reviewed the second draft of the 2022 budget. Of note, there was a 20 percent increase in fuel and diesel costs. This, along with needed building repairs, prompted a reduction of the Southern Lehigh Public Library donation.

Following the approval of the minutes, the treasurer’s report and November bills were approved.

In public works, a new sweeper was purchased for the department. Patchwork was done to East Mill Hill Road, Schultz Bridge, Westview Drive and Limeport Pike. Line painting and road ledger painting were completed. Multiple road signs were replaced in the township.

Several Southern Lehigh Library board members were in attendance for the library representative report. They were opposed to the reduction of $5,661 toward the library, nearly 25 percent.

“I would have thought you would have seen via the response from the community how much your constituents strongly support the library,” Rachel Pfeiffer said. She also spoke about how often the library attempts to raise money but couldn’t hold a couple of the big fundraisers due to COVID-19 issues.

Supervisor Ellen Koplin responded by saying only a small portion of residents use the library and the roof of the township’s garage building needs to be repaired.

Supervising Chair Donna Wright supported the building repairs.

Supervisors said they were against a tax increase to the public. Due to the price of oil, gas and diesel increasing, they are shifting money from the library to cover the higher pricing. So, they said the reduction in the library budget is really helping all the residents of Lower Milford.

The budget will be voted on at the December Lower Milford board meeting.

The first item in new business was the 2021 bridge and culvert inspection report. The only note was the bridge should be occasionally checked for erosion. It was noted the annual bridge inspections started due to a local bridge failure in 2007. It cost nearly $400,000 to repair the bridge when that happened.

Supervisors then approved the next steps of the November workshop’s conditional use hearing. Reimbursement of the sweeper broom for the public works department was approved to be taken from the ARPA Fund.

In the final item of new business, two appeals for temporary dwellings were opposed by the supervisors. They did not think either application met township requirements. Solicitor Mark Cappuccio will attend the appeal hearings.

In closing public comments, a resident was in attendance representing multiple residents living on DeKrane Drive and Hoffman Lane. He was there to complain about a property on Hoffman Lane with multiple safety violations and township violations.

The supervisors said a decision will be made in a couple of weeks about water runoff in the township. The resident responded stormwater concerns are not the only issue. The supervisors informed the resident an engineer is going out after the water decision and can then look at all the additional violations.

The resident, then, showed the supervisors an image of a parking lot painted on the property right near the road. This was originally not permitted. The supervisors agreed this needs to be addressed and action will be taken on that issue.

Following a few more comments, the meeting was adjourned.

The next Lower Milford Board of Supervisors meeting will be held 6:30 p.m. Dec. 16 at the Lower Milford Township Building, 7607 Chestnut Hill Church Road.

Lower Milford meetings have no virtual access.