Whitehall-Coplay Press

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Board talks first steps for new complex

Tuesday, July 2, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS Special to The Press in Local News

Commissioners to vote on asbestos removal plan for municipal building

Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners discussed an ordinance July 1 to accept a proposal for asbestos abatement consulting, which is one of the preliminary steps for the construction of the new 29,000-square-foot police station and renovation of the township building, 3219 MacArthur Road.

At the board’s workshop meeting, Deputy Mayor John D. Meyers said the basement of the municipal building has asbestos around the pipes and in other areas and needs remediation.

“It’s the first thing we need to do this fall,” he said.

D’Huy Engineering, of Bethlehem, which is providing construction management services, wants to have the complete construction plan ready for bid by the end of November, so the board can vote to advertise for bids at its Dec. 9 meeting.

Meyers said D’Huy Engineering recommended Element Environmental Solutions, of Adamstown, which does environmental work for municipalities and schools. The cost of the remediation is estimated to be around $100,000.

He said, first, the area needs to be cleaned of files and records that are stored there, and then, the remediation of the asbestos, as well as particulates and dust, can take place.

The board will vote on the ordinance July 8.

Commissioners also discussed a liquor license request for the Exxon station at 2724 MacArthur Road.

Township Solicitor Sarah Murray said the owner of the gas station and convenience store is requesting a restaurant license to serve beer.

The license requires seating for 30 patrons.

She said the company had won the liquor license at an auction in March. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board periodically holds auctions for retired liquor licenses.

Murray said she put resolutions to both approve and deny the request on the agenda for the July 8 meeting to expedite things because of the township’s previous experience with Sheetz.

In April, Whitehall Township commissioners denied a request for a liquor license for Sheetz, which wanted to sell beer and wine at its gas station and convenience store at 5001 MacArthur Road.

In that case, residents from a 55-and-over residential community located behind Sheetz opposed the transfer, complaining of noise and loitering at the gas station. The issue was then pushed off until the next meeting.

Sheetz is appealing the township’s decision in Lehigh County court.

However, Murray did not anticipate complaints about this license transfer because there are no residential areas near the Exxon station.

She said if the board approves the license, it “wouldn’t cause a conflict” in the other case.

Meyers also reported on possible changes in the new garbage and recycling contract.

He said the township is looking into single-day collection for both garbage and yard waste, as well as offering electronics and hazardous waste recycling pickup.

He said residents could call and schedule pickup of electronics and hazardous waste. There would be a fee.

The next board meeting is 7 p.m. July 8 at the municipal building.