The official yearlong celebration of the 75th anniversary in renaming Seventh Street Pike after General Douglas MacArthur began Monday night at the Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners meeting.
Mayor Edward D. Hozza Jr. read from the Feb. 9, 1942, minutes of the commissioners meeting dedicating the 7-mile-long road to MacArthur, who was then heading the United States’ war effort in the Pacific Theatre.
Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners at its Monday night workshop expressed ongoing frustration regarding the continued dumping of fill daily into a huge quarry owned by Coplay Aggregates, prompting Commissioners President Phillips Armstrong to comment, “Our hands are tied behind our backs.” The company has a permit, issued by Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, to dump regulated fill at the site.
Whitehall Township’s new fire truck, a $543,180 state-of-the-art vehicle, has officially arrived. It is currently being outfitted with equipment, after which it will be inspected and delivered to the West Catasauqua station.
Fire Chief David Nelson said the truck was manufactured by Wisconson-based Pierce.
A ceremony — known as a “washdown” — will be held at the West Catasauqua building, during which time the volunteer firefighters will push the new fire truck into the station’s bay.
West Catasauqua Fire Station built a new addition to house the fire truck.
Over the next several days, MacArthur Road will be lined with more than 150 banners celebrating its 75th anniversary.
Once a two-lane road connecting Egypt to Allentown, MacArthur Road has been transformed over the years to six lanes and is recognized as the prime commercial hub in the region with shopping malls, stores of every persuasion and a wide selection of restaurants.
The township will officially kick off the celebration at the April 10 meeting of the board of commissioners.
The $14.3 million sale of MacArthur Towne Center, on the west side of heavily traveled MacArthur Road, ranks as one of the highest property sale transfers recently in Whitehall Township, helping to fill the coffers of the township and Whitehall-Coplay School District.
Both the township and school district impose the 1-percent realty transfer tax, which means each entity will receive one-half of the proceeds from the levy. Their share totals $71,500 each.
The 2017 township budget anticipates $350,000 in revenue from the real estate transfer tax.
Whitehall Township has narrowed its search for land on which to build an emergency services building, primarily to house the police department.
Mayor Edward D. Hozza Jr. confirmed over the weekend the site is a 14-acre parcel at the east end of Arlington Cemetery, close to the township’s municipal complex.
“Negotiations for the sale of the land are underway,” Hozza told The Press.
Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners at Monday’s meeting said it is calling on state Sen. Lisa Boscola, D-18th, and representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to come before the board jointly to say, on the record, whether or not the township has jurisdiction to inspect the materials being dumped into a former quarry owned by Coplay Aggregates.
Whitehall Township may have the authority, after all, to ensure only clean and regulated fill is dumped into a former cement quarry, an issue that township officials believed was strictly under the domain of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Agency.
The long-standing position that the township lacks jurisdiction over the dumping of fill may have changed when, at the board of commissioners workshop Monday night, a letter from state Sen. Lisa Boscola, D-18th, was disclosed stating otherwise.
Customers at Weis Market in Whitehall Township will be able to enjoy beer and food at a cafe the store will open at its 3644 MacArthur Road site, located near a laser tag recreational facility and a commercial pool sales business.
Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners, at its Feb. 13 meeting, approved the application for a restaurant liquor license that enables the market to operate a 30-seat restaurant and sell malted beverages. The cafe will be located in the area where the pharmacy is presently. The pharmacy will be relocated in the store.
Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners at its meeting Feb. 13 officially declared it is time to put an end to gerrymandering — voting districts drawn up by the state legislature that strongly favor those in elective state legislative and congressional offices.
The commissioners unanimously adopted a resolution to ask the state to assign the task of both legislative and congressional redistricting to an independent citizens redistricting commission.