Joseph Bundra, vice president of the Ironton Rail Trail Oversight Commission, gave an annual report on the IRT during Coplay Borough Council’s meeting Feb. 12.
The borough, along with Whitehall and North Whitehall townships, provides funding for maintenance and improvements on the trail.
The rail trail is actively used. Pedestrian counters were installed at the trail head at Portland Street in North Whitehall and the Chestnut Street trail head in late 2017. Cyclist counters were added in May 2018.
With detailed planning underway for public sewer improvements along Summit and Prospect streets, Bud Newton, of Newton Engineering, presented Coplay Whitehall Sewer Authority with a new concept at the authority’s regular meeting Jan. 17.
Newton represents developers who are interested in an age-qualified development on Mauch Chunk Road and Schadt Avenue. The proposed development is a town house subdivision near Fellowship Community. The new development is not served by CWSA, and the developer proposes tying into CWSA’s system at an end-of-the-line manhole on Schadt Avenue.
Coplay Police Chief Vincent Genovese presented details on the regional plan for hiring police officers during borough council’s workshop meeting Feb. 5.
Essentially, participating municipalities would have a call for officers on a regular basis. The consortium would do qualifying testing. Each municipality would have a custom list of requirements and conduct additional testing and background checks.
Municipalities can have unique lists of qualifications. For example, Coplay wants to only look at officers who are presently on duty in other municipalities.
Matt Hartman plunked down a good bit of change to purchase the long-vacant Log Cabin Tavern at 31 Second St., Coplay.
“We have a lot to do, and we need to get permits from Coplay and get more paperwork to the liquor control board for our license. We’re looking at at least a month before we want anyone to take a look inside,” he said.
Hartman grew up in Coplay, on Seventh Street. His brother owns Boxers Bar & Grill in Northampton, so he understands the business.
“We will make it a nice tavern, and we’ll have a few surprises for a tavern this size,” he said.
At Coplay Borough Council’s first regular meeting of the new year Jan. 15, Councilman Charles Sodl released details regarding the new police contract.
“We still have minor things that need to be approved,” he said.
If both sides could not have reached an agreement, the contract would have gone to arbitration. Council unanimously approved the contract to avoid the arbitration requirement.
The contract is for three years and gives officers a 3-percent raise each year. Life insurance for officers was increased.
At its first meeting of the new year, Jan. 8, Coplay Borough Council renewed contracts and approved appointments of staff personnel. In the public contact positions, Kimberly Bachman will continue directing the office staff. She was appointed to continue her positions as borough secretary and treasurer. The borough police chief will continue to be Vincent Genovese. Matthew Buskaritz will remain as fire chief, with Brandon Bechtel as assistant chief. Joseph Gill will remain as borough health inspector.
Coplay Whitehall Sewer Authority passed its budget for 2019 at its last meeting of 2018, held Dec. 20.
The authority is projecting income of $3.8 million. Operational expenses are totaled at $2,667,000. The remaining is for administrative expenses. Salaries and wages are $353,000, and the benefits package tops out at $402,000. Insurance expense for workers’ compensation and commercial coverage is $76,500.
When Mark Reccek was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, he began his treatment in the oncology department at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg, Bethlehem. The Marine was a fighter and wrote regularly for The Press newspapers.
While he was undergoing treatment, he was being cared for by his sister, Donna Kukor, of Bath. During his stints in the hospital, Reccek continued to write columns on the experiences he had during his treatment.
At the Coplay Borough Council meeting Dec. 11, the borough was asked to approve a beer festival in April. The fest, a fundraiser for Coplay Sports, would be sponsored by the Whitehall Area Chamber of Commerce. One of the conditions for approval was that someone from Coplay Sports serve as a point of contact for the borough to assist with coordination.
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.