Geoff Brace honors county EMS, 911 for responses during recent storm
By Marieke Andronache
Special to The Press
The Aug. 7 storm brought devastation and challenges throughout Lehigh County, putting first responders and 911 dispatchers at the forefront of the storm’s path of destruction.
County commissioners’ Chairman Geoff Brace commented at the board’s Aug. 9 meeting.
“The 911 Communication Center, during the three hours of that storm, fielded an excess of 830 storm-related calls,” he said. “And, between 7-8 p.m. yielded 400 calls.”
Brace relayed this update on the same day the National Weather Service confirmed it was an EF1 tornado that touched down in the Midway Manor area of Allentown.
Brace praised the work of the dispatchers, first responders, county staff and all involved in rescue operations, cleanup and recovery.
“As recovery takes place, we should be proud of all the county staff,” he said.
In other matters, Bill 40, approving a change of use of subgrant funds previously allocated to Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley and authorizing additional county administration fees under the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, received its first reading.
The bill is sponsored by Commissioner Ron Beitler.
“The county has actually provided more direct funds through this grant than was actually required by the federal government,” Commissioner Bob Elbich said about the bill. “More of the funds are going to direct use to the community than initially anticipated. That’s positive for the community.”
This sentiment was echoed by Commissioner Dave Harrington.
“This is a minor reallocation of funds just to make sure that we are sufficiently covering the costs to make sure that the money goes out,” Harrington said.
Second reading and consideration is scheduled for Aug. 23.
County budget details were announced by Commissioner Jeffrey Dutt. County Executive Phillips Armstrong will present the budget 10 a.m. Aug. 31.
Finance committee reviews will be Sept. 11, 18 and 25 if needed. Budget amendments will be addressed Sept. 29 and Oct. 6.
The board will receive the budget Oct. 11 and will proceed to a final vote Oct. 25.