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Lehigh Twp. hears police concerns

Lehigh Township police Chief Scott Fogel told the board of supervisors this month that Officer Marshall had resigned. There was nothing but praise for Marshall and all appeared unhappy with the loss of this officer.

According to reports, there was a social media posting that was disparaging and done under a false name, which had both the board and the chief expressing their frustration.

Supervisor David Hess said they will keep losing good officers if this isn’t stopped. The board discussed the idea that someone in the department made the post.

Vice Chairman Cindy Miller said, “It didn’t make the community look bad, but it made the department look bad.”

She also said the person posting was a “coward.” Miller said the board has always had an open-door policy for the officers of the township and was dismayed no one had come to them if there was a problem.

Fogel said when you’re posting on social media, you don’t know who you’re talking to.

He also said, “There is truth, half truths and false truths,” adding it was completely inappropriate to have that kind of post out publicly.

In other police news, Officer Dean Heffelfinger came forward to speak to the board in regard to morning hour shift scheduling. He said on the 3-6 a.m. and 6-11 a.m. shifts, only one officer is on duty.

Heffelfinger said he felt it was an unsafe practice and wanted to know why they were not allowed to schedule two officers on duty at that time. The board agreed there should be two officers on duty at all times and noted there was money in the budget to have two officers on duty during those time slots.

Road improvements

There was discussion about how to pay for road improvements on Cottonwood Road. It was suggested possibly waiting until next spring, but Supervisor Phil Gogle said, “The road is falling apart.”

Miller said they can’t raid the general fund; that is for emergencies. They are still going to have to decide how and where to acquire funding for the road repair.

Supervisors are reviewing two different rezoning plans of the township. They have called a special meeting for changes in Chapter 180 regarding zoning 7 p.m. Oct. 10 at the municipal building.

Ordinance 2023-4 is amending section 180-71. It involves communication towers, antennas and equipment. The amendments are to correct inconsistencies within the ordinance.

Ordinance 2023-5 is amending ordinance 180-85 regarding where marijuana facilities can operate. All facilities that deal in any way with legal marijuana must be in industrial zoned properties.

Ordinance 2023-6 is amending ordinance 180-107(B) and (C) for the commercial primary use/creation of solar energy to be on industrial land only. Residential use as a primary source of electricity is permissible.

Ordinance 2023-7 was enacted to provide for the adult use of lawful cannabis and authority, for personal use of cannabis, to provide for the location of the cannabis business establishment for production of, distribution and sale of recreational marijuana use within the township.

This ordinance is being done in the event the recreational use of marijuana is legal. It regulates details such as square footage and building height, parking, lighting and more.

Separate from the above zoning changes, Urban Research and Development, of Bethlehem, is being contracted for $30,000 to review and revise if needed the entire township’s zoning. It is anticipated, during the course of the next year, there will be approximately 11 meetings with Urban Research and Development.