Lehigh County commissioners name jail warden
Lehigh County Board of Commissioners conducted routine business Dec. 12, approving the appointment of Kyle A. Russell to the position of warden of the county jail. At a previous meeting, the board signaled approval of the appointment by voting for Russell’s appointment in a preliminary or first hearing vote.
Sarah Andrew was reappointed to the Aging and Adult Services Advisory Council, while Patrick Palmer was appointed to the council. The votes were unanimous by those present. Commissioner Percy Dougherty was absent.
A third appointee, Robbie Matthews, was also approved but without the vote of Councilwoman Amy Zanelli, who voted against the appointment; she said she wasn’t convinced Matthew’s qualifications were suitable for the job.
Commissioners approved leases of agricultural land with three farms to lease county property. This included a 10-acre plot east of Leaser Lake leased to Let Farms Inc. with offices on Mantz Road in Germansville. Let Farms Inc., which has an existing lease for the property, will pay $650 per year for the lease.
Also leased were seven acres at the intersection of Broadway and Cedarbrook Road in South Whitehall Township to Weinhofer Farms, LLC of Whitehall. Weinhofer Farms will also lease 21 acres south of Lehnert Road in Whitehall Township and will pay $1,155 annually for the lease for both properties.
Commissioners also approved a lease of Tract 1 through Tract 5 comprising 233 acres of the Seem Seed Farm to Dennis P. Trexler Farms/Leroy C. Stahler Inc., with offices in Limeport, for $35,164 per year for Tracts 1 through 4 and $80 per acre for Tract 5.
Commissioners gave approval to a contract with William G. Sherr for title services in connection with sheriff’s sales.
The contract with Magellan Behavioral Health of Pennsylvania was approved by commissioners for the fifth program year.
Commissioners also gave preliminary approval of a lease with Adams Outdoor Advertising for a 3.5-acre site near the northeast end of the Hamilton Street Bridge. Adams will maintain an advertising sign on the site. It will pay $7,325 per year for the lease.
The county coroner will get a new Ford Explorer and replace obsolete equipment with new X-ray equipment as per an amendment of the 2018–22 capital plan approved by the commissioners.
Harold J. Eyer was honored by the board on the occasion of his 100th birthday. He was not in attendance for the honor.
Frank Gerlach, a caseworker with the Office of Crisis Intervention, thanked the commissioners for their support of the nonunion employees during this year’s budget hearings.
“The Human Services Department is really struggling all over,” he said. “We’re on the front lines. We need all the help we can get.”
Commissioners also gave preliminary approval to salary levels for Lehigh County row officers.