Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners, during its regular meeting Dec. 12, voted to approve an agreement that paves the way for a nonprofit agency to proceed with plans to convert a vacant garment factory in Fullerton into an apartment building.
A gray cloud was lifted over the township, which faced possible federal litigation regarding PathStone’s plan to convert the factory in Fullerton to moderate- and low-income housing.
The long-awaited construction of a new Coplay-Northampton Bridge spanning the Lehigh River is now in sight. Bids for the project will be opened later this month, Rick Molchany, Lehigh County director of general services, informed The Press recently.
Construction for the new bridge should begin in March 2017, Molchany reported. The work involves the demolition of the present bridge connecting the boroughs of Coplay at Chestnut and Front streets and Northampton at Ninth and Main streets.
Whitehall Township property owners on Monday received a bit of early holiday cheer. Their real estate taxes will not go up in 2017, and they will be paying less than they are now to have their garbage and recyclable materials picked up.
The board of commissioners voted unanimously to adopt the 2017 budget, which lists $22,222,833 as total funds appropriated. In October, Mayor Edward D. Hozza Jr. provided commissioners with a proposed budget for their review.
With Whitehall Historical Preservation Society accomplishing its goal of preserving the Helfrich Springs Grist Mill, a project that began in 1984, the group has now set its sights on the restoration of the Peter Grim Homestead, across from the mill at the corner of Mickley and Lehnert roads.
The restoration project at the Peter Grim Homestead involves interior and exterior work and is now underway. The plans are to make certain the renovation reflects a 1840s-era residence.
Whitehall’s public works crew is prepared to battle the winter weather woes on the township’s roadways. Salt is stockpiled, and snow plows are ready.
Township public works Director John Rackus said recently the two large roof-covered storage sheds on the township campus are filled to the brim with road salt.
With 1,000 tons of road salt stored in the sheds, Rackus said he is confident his personnel are prepared 24/7 to deal with whatever the winter brings.
Lehigh County Sheriff Joseph Hanna at a meeting of the Mid Eastern Counties Association of Boroughs, held Nov. 30 at the Coplay Municipal Building, addressed a host of topics, such as marijuana use, gun ownership and diversity, along with the duties his staff performs on a daily basis.
Council members and mayors from Bath, Catasauqua, Coplay, Northampton and North Catasauqua were present for the forum, which included a PowerPoint presentation.
NIXLE, a term that may seem foreign to many people, is beginning to catch on with more residents in Whitehall Township. This emergency alert and communications system provides vital information on a range of issues to residents.
NIXLE is not only available to those having computers with email, but also to people having telephone land lines and cellphones.
Regular notification and emergency alerts are components of the NIXLE system.
Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners at Monday’s workshop meeting discussed the enormous number of unpaid garbage bills, agreeing although it is a troubling situation that occurs yearly, perhaps this time, the issue could be hit head-on.
“My opinion is we’ve got to do something — whatever the hell we do to run loose on these people,” Commissioner Philip Ginder said.
This has been a vexing problem for Ginder, who has been addressing it for several years — in particular, toward the end of the year when the budget is being considered.
Coplay Creek, its bed dry for months due to two sinkholes at a Hokendauqua field, now has water cascading over rocks as it meanders east, near Darktown, and spilling into the Lehigh River.
Whitehall Township Mayor Edward D. Hozza Jr. said the water at the site of the two sinkholes had overflowed; most likely, the recent heavy rainfalls had something to do with the rise in the water table.
“For how long?” Hozza asked though.
With the rush of water making a pleasant sound, he said there is no answer regarding the duration of the water in the creek.
Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners will have its solicitor and engineer review a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) air-quality inspection report regarding the contents of fill being dumped at the former Coplay Cement Company quarry in North Coplay.
Residents of Fox Hollow, a community near the quarry, are outraged at the dust and sticky debris in their neighborhood, which they say stems from the dumping of clean fill by UGI.