At Coplay Borough Council’s workshop meeting Dec. 4, township Engineer Daniel Witczak, of Acela Engineering, presented an assessment of the Saylor Park project.
The original idea was to refurbish the existing Saylor Park into a modern playground with top-flight sports fields. The goal was to use grants from various state agencies and philanthropic groups.
At Coplay Borough Council’s regular meeting Nov. 13, Councilwoman Janet Eisenhauer gave council members a final opportunity for changes to the borough’s website. The new design and details were made available before the final approval to go live with the effort.
Lehigh Valley Planning Commission released a plan dubbed Walk/Bike LV as a way to encourage development of walkways and bike paths to make it easier for residents to get outdoors. The proposal is a regional master plan for pedestrians and bicyclists. Some cities, like Portland and Seattle, lead the way in accommodating everyday trail users. Others like Tucson are a destination for bikers during the winter season.
At Coplay Borough Council’s workshop session Nov. 6, council President Louis Bodish announced that meetings to plan for the borough’s sesquicentennial will soon begin.
“We anticipate that we open the celebration year on April 6,” he said.
There is a list of events that will be held throughout the year. The earliest one under consideration is a beer festival.
“We need to start the planning now. We had one of these planned last year, but it fell apart,” Councilman Mark Molitoris said.
Coplay Whitehall Sewer Authority Engineer Darryl Jenkins reported during an Oct. 18 meeting that the solar electrical project has been awarded to RER Energy Group.
RER was awarded the contract because it was the only bidder to meet expectations.
The project is moving forward as the contractor prepares a project schedule and necessary documentation. One criterion is that the solar panels be American made. Chairman John Schreiner verified that provision at the CWSA board meeting.
Northampton County Executive Lamont McClure and Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong, along with state Rep. Zach Mako, R-183rd, and Michael Dee, chief of staff for state Rep. Jeanne McNeil, D-133rd, gathered at Fellowship Community, Whitehall, Sept. 12 to present their thoughts on the state of the counties to Whitehall Area Chamber of Commerce.
McClure emphasized the crossroads he sees in the future.
“In the next decade, we need to decide if we are going to be the home of fulfillment centers or if we can balance economic development and land protection,” he said.
Councilman Stephen Burker reported to Coplay Borough Council at the Oct. 9 meeting that he has been in detailed discussions on grants for the Saylor Park project. He is confident he has the right combination in place to extend the grants.
As background, Coplay proposed upgrading Saylor Park to a state-of-the-art recreational park. The expected cost was around $600,000. Grants and in-kind services were expected to bring the borough’s contribution to $200,000.
Coplay’s sewer project on Front Street is still a contentious matter within the borough, the Coplay Whitehall Sewer Authority (CWSA) board and the contractor. The project, originally scheduled for completion by December 2017, extended well beyond its completion date. A substantial completion letter was issued in July that conjured up a new set of concerns.
The project was plagued by poor soils, bad substrates, collapsing trenches, bad weather, poor-quality cement work and a continuing host of problems. The project is substantially over budget.
The critical subject of discussion at Coplay Borough Council’s workshop session Oct. 2 was the Saylor Park project. The park, envisioned as a crowning achievement for the borough’s 150-year celebration, has a little trouble brewing.
Murat Guzel, who heads the Lehigh Valley Democratic Progressive Coalition (LVDPC), held a political rally, billed as Harmony Fest, at the American Club of Coplay pavilion Aug. 9.
“This is a local organization. Every local Democrat Party organization and all the Democratic elected officials joined us and are a part of this group,” he said.
Guzel had a two-page list of everyone who supports his organization. Celeste Dee is the executive director of LVDPC and set up the event. She has an extensive resume of working for Democratic Party executives.