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Police facility, Western facility receive endorsements

Two Salisbury Township projects have received the backing of the township board of commissioners.

In separate unanimous 5-0 vote, commissioners approved:

- A resolution consenting to the Western Salisbury Volunteer Fire Company project.

- A motion authorizing township personnel to proceed with Salisbury Township Police Training Facility plans.

A motion for the resolution consenting to the Western Salisbury Township Volunteer Fire Company Fire Station Renovation Project and authorizing township assistance and action as necessary was made by Commissioner Alok Patnaik and seconded by board of commissioners Vice President Rodney Conn.

Before the vote during the 7 p.m. commissioners’ meeting, a public hearing on the fire company project was held 6:30 p.m. in the municipal building meeting room.

Attorney Richard L. Campbell Jr. of King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul, LLC, who conducted the hearing, told a reporter for The Press the hearing was held in accordance with the Tax, Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982.

The IRS requires the hearing in order for the fire company to issue tax-exempt notes in funding its project.

The fire company plans to borrow $2.7 million from a yet-to-be-disclosed area bank. The fire company is still pursuing a United States Department of Agriculture loan. Western will build a new fire house on the site of the Swain Station, 950 S. Ott St.

“The township has to show consent that the project is in the health, safety and welfare of the township,” Campbell told The Press.

The resolution consenting to the fire company project enables the fire company “to finance the project” and states the fire company “shall be the sole obligor of the financing” and the note “shall not be deemed an obligation of Salisbury Township, Lehigh County or of the Commonwealth or of any political subdivision.”

The resolution can be read on the township website under the agenda for the March 23 commissioners’ meeting.

Township Commissioner Heather Lipkin asked for a clarification of the resolution before the vote on it.

“The township is not guaranteeing this debt,” Campbell said.

A motion authorizing township personnel to proceed with Salisbury Township Police Training Facility plans was made by Commissioner Alex Karol and seconded by Lipkin.

The training facility, proposed for an area near the Franko Farm Park yard waste drop-off site along Honeysuckle Road, will next go before the township planning commission and possibly the township zoning hearing board for review.

The township has earmarked $50,000 in the 2023 budget for the police training facility, which will include a shooting range.

Three residents spoke about the police facility project before the vote.

A suggestion by Bruce Burchard that rules for the facility be placed in writing was greeted favorably by township board of commissioners President Debra Brinton and Salisbury Township Chief of Police Don Sabo.

The facility will have a perimeter fence. An 8-foot-high fence will be placed on top of an earthen berm at the facility.

Upcoming township meetings beginning 7 p.m. in the municipal building, 2900 S. Pike Ave. include: zoning hearing board, April 12; board of commissioners, April 13; environmental advisory board, April 19 and planning commission, April 26.