Whitehall-Coplay Press

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Forum set for historic district plan

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 by AL RECKER in Local News

Public session for Hokendauqua preservation proposal will be held Sept. 27

Residents in one of Hokendauqua’s oldest neighborhoods will be able to express their views next month on the possibility of establishing a historic preservation district in part of the village.

The Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners will hold a public forum 6:30 p.m. Sept. 27.

Township Commissioner Jeffrey Dutt, during the board’s Monday workshop meeting, said the informational meeting will be held at the Teamsters Union Hall Local 773, 3614 Lehigh St.

IRT section to be moved for bridge work

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 by AL RECKER in Local News

The section of Ironton Rail Trail that runs underneath the Coplay-Northampton Bridge, which is set for demolition and a new span built, will now require some minor modification.

Though the trail will not be shut down, Bob Abbott, former IRT Oversight Commission chairman and present board director, said a section will be moved 20 feet west from the closed pier to the trail. Abbott was unable to provide a timeline for the trail will be moved, as it depends on the status of the work going on at the time by the contractor.

Township awaits building answer

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 by AL RECKER in Local News

Deadline nears for talk on emergency services site

Whitehall Township officials continue to prefer the proposed emergency services building to be located on grounds by Arlington Cemetery, but time is running out for the prized spot.

According to Mayor Edward D. Hozza Jr., the Trevose-based company that owns the land the township wants to secure for the project was sent a certified letter giving the company until Aug. 15 to respond on whether further talks regarding the acquisition will be held.

“We have not heard back from them,” Hozza said.

What happens if that deadline passes?

“We go to plan B,” Hozza replied.

Township eyes a piece of history

Wednesday, August 2, 2017 by AL RECKER in Local News

Commissioners review mayor’s proposal to purchase Mickley Homestead

Whitehall Township may be interested in adding to its portfolio of historic acquisitions the John Jacob Mickley Jr. Homestead, which has ties to the Revolutionary War and the Liberty Bell in the 1770s.

Mayor Edward D. Hozza Jr. said he does not want the township to miss out on the unique opportunity of taking title to this cherished piece of history. He told The Press July 27 of asking the board of commissioners to consider acquiring such a treasure that generations can enjoy and appreciate.

Trinity United Church of Christ closing its doors

Wednesday, August 2, 2017 by AL RECKER in Local News

Parishioners of 146-year-old church say low attendance forced decision

The final chapter of Trinity United Church of Christ, Coplay, is set for Sunday when the small congregation attends a 10 a.m. service and then closes the book on its proud history and service, which has spanned 146 years.

As many churches of varying denominations, Trinity UCC, 17 N. Third St., succumbed to an aging congregation, fewer and fewer young members and mounting bills.

For the church membership, the closing of the handsome brick church comes as no surprise. A recent vote by the congregation to close the doors was sad but telling.

Adaptive reuse legislation upheld

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 by AL RECKER in Local News

Zoning board strikes down challenge of affordable housing parking study

Whitehall Township Zoning Hearing Board, at a July 18 session, upheld the township’s new adaptive reuse legislation regarding converting vacant commercial structures into affordable housing units.

The board’s action struck down an appeal by PVC Third St. L.P. and Quarry St. Whitehall Development L.P. — two entities owned by Bethlehem Township developer Abe Atiyeh — challenging the validity of the ordinance, specifically the parking study.

Crematory plan is approved for Fullerton

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 by AL RECKER in Local News

Longtime vault, burial company to build unit at site of existing business

Wilbert Vault & Burial Company, owned by Joseph B. Beidler, was given approval July 18 by Whitehall Township Zoning Hearing Board to establish a crematory at 213 Catasauqua Ave., Fullerton.

Beidler said his business, which provides casket vaults, grave site opening and closing services, and chairs and tents for memorials, is located in proximity to two cemeteries. He added he has seen an uptick in cremations along with requests for such services.

The company, which has been in business for more than four decades, is located in an industrial-zoned district.

Board proposes historic district

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 by AL RECKER in Local News

Hokey’s Thomas Iron Works focus for preserving industrial character

A slice of Hokendauqua, rich with history that began with David Thomas, who is described as “The Father of the Modern American Iron Industry,” may become Whitehall Township’s first historic district.

The proposed historic district, which would run from Front Street to Third Street, was discussed Monday at the board of commissioners workshop and the later meeting.