Whitehall-Coplay Press

Friday, July 10, 2020
Michael Dee is sworn in Feb. 10 as the newest member of Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners.PRESS PHOTOS BY PAUL FOX Michael Dee is sworn in Feb. 10 as the newest member of Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners.PRESS PHOTOS BY PAUL FOX
Firefighters Capt. Jack Mesce, Lt. Greg Unger and Lt. Keith Bilder are promoted and take their oaths. Firefighters Capt. Jack Mesce, Lt. Greg Unger and Lt. Keith Bilder are promoted and take their oaths.

Board fills vacant commissioners seat

Wednesday, February 12, 2020 by PAUL FOX Special to The Press in Local News

Michael Dee, chief of staff for Rep. McNeill, will fulfill remaining two years

At the Feb. 10 Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners meeting, commissioners began the meeting with a vote to appoint Michael Dee to a vacancy on the board, left after Commissioner Shawn Clary resigned at the end of last year.

Dee, who works as chief of staff for state Rep. Jeanne McNeill, D-133rd, will serve for the remaining two years of Clary’s four-year term, which started in 2018.

Before the vote, board Secretary Thomas Slonaker thanked the other applicants who were interviewed for the position and said the final decision took a lot of deliberation.

President Philip Ginder welcomed Dee to the board and said commissioners are proud to have him join them.

Whitehall Township Fire Department promoted three of its members during the meeting.

Capt. Jack Mesce, Lt. Greg Unger and Lt. Keith Bilder were sworn in to their new roles.

The board voted on a number of ordinances, including one to acquire 2,381 square feet of property along Mechanicsville Road so the road can be widened and a sidewalk can eventually be installed. This acquisition is done in lieu of condemnation by the township and is the culmination of a 15-year-long endeavor to widen the road.

Commissioner Joseph Marx Jr. made the first motion in favor of the ordinance authorizing the acceptance of proposals for the construction of a new public safety building. In a later statement, Marx expressed his understanding the costly project may be painful for some township residents living on fixed incomes, but it will serve as an investment in Whitehall’s legacy.

Treasurer Colleen Gober reported Whitehall Township will see its first tax increase in eight years to cover the cost of the new building. So far, the project is six months ahead of schedule.

Arif Fazil, president of D’Huy Engineering, also reported the project is currently well below budget. He thanked the board and township employees for all of their hard work keeping it that way.

Commissioners voted against an ordinance to defer the construction of both sidewalk and curbing at North Church and Spring streets and another that would defer just the sidewalk construction at the frontage of 3585 S. Church St.

The board did approve two ordinances that defer the required construction of curbing along Columbia and South Church streets at that address.

In two separate resolutions, commissioners voted to approve the retirement and monthly pension benefits of two Whitehall Township police officers, Michael Arnold and Paul Davis.