Whitehall-Coplay Press

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Township explores streetlight financing

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 by AL RECKER Special to The Press in Local News

LED upgrade will bring savings but has a million-dollar price tag

Whitehall Township’s proposed conversion of its streetlights to LED — which will provide a savings to the township and brighter lighting for residents — is projected to cost above the million-dollar mark, according to Mayor Edward D. Hozza Jr., who updated the board of commissioners at its Sept. 11 meeting.

Hozza said several meetings have been held to determine appropriate light fixtures and costs.

“The next step will be exploring finance options for what will be a $1.3 to $1.8 million project,” Hozza said.

Commissioners would have the final word on the proposed project; however, none to date has voiced any disapproval.

Also at the meeting, Hozza said the township has been dropped from the Fitzgerald unlawful arrest civil suit.

Christopher Fitzgerald, son of former Allentown police Chief Joel Fitzgerald, was arrested by Lehigh County detectives following a 2014 road rage incident. Whitehall police assisted in the arrest, which took place in the parking lot of Lehigh Valley Mall.

Christopher Fitzgerald has filed a federal lawsuit claiming he was illegally arrested by the county detectives. He dropped his claims against Whitehall Township in May.

According to Hozza, “The only litigation is Rodriguez vs. Coplay Borough and Whitehall Township. The plaintiff alleges injuries incurred when he fell in a work area property posted and signed. The alleged fall occurred on Hokendauqua Street, which is the dividing line of the two municipalities.

“Upon learning that the plaintiff location was in Coplay when he allegedly fell,” Hozza said, “our legal counsel believes we will be removed from that action.”

Township crews are resurfacing the tennis courts in Hokendauqua and installing a target system at the Whitehall police gun range on Range Road.

The Jordan Greenway construction project is also in full swing, Hozza said. Three construction invoices were submitted to the township and passed on to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.