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Approval moves treasurer issue to county

The Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners met Nov. 14 to discuss an ordinance proposing to remove the treasurer position.

Ordinance 31-2022 proposes to initiate a referendum amending the township charter to eliminate the elected treasurer position and replace it with an appointed finance director.

Both the mayor and board of commissioners will have oversight on who is put into the position and will have the ability to remove the person from the position if he or she is not adequately performing the job.

Commissioner Phil Ginder commented the township needs to change the way it is handling the role and bring its ways to the 21st century.

The motion passed, with four commissioners voting yes and one voting no.

This approval only pushes the referendum to the county level. The issue will be put on the ballot, giving the final say to township residents. Commissioners are unsure, at this point, when the issue will appear on the ballot.

In other business, the commissioners heard from residents of Taylor Villas regarding complaints about New Enterprise Stone and Lime Company. Residents said they feel their houses shaking from the quarry’s blasts.

One resident who works as a materials engineer was concerned about the structural stability of her house. She said she noticed multiple cracks in the foundation and framing of her home.

Further, the homes in Taylor Villas were reportedly not built to withstand vibration and have no reinforcement. Another resident wondered how the development was approved with an active quarry nearby.

Engineer Frank Clark explained the quarry was largely inactive, only blasting once or twice a year, when the development was approved. Following the development’s approval, a new company took over operations and began blasting more.

It was also reported the township is not allowed to deny a development plan if it follows all necessary regulations, which Taylor Villas did.

Two representatives from New Enterprise attended the meeting in hopes of better connecting with the residents. They said the location and frequency of their blasts are regulated by the Department of Environmental Protection.

A special meeting will be held Dec. 1 for a potential vote on the Adams Outdoor Advertising curative amendment hearing.

The commissioners will next meet 7 p.m. Dec. 5 in the municipal building, 3219 MacArthur Road.