Coplay residents were all agog as Councilman Stephen Burker made a formal announcement Jan. 21 of a $200,000 grant the borough received from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) to improve the playing fields at Saylor Park.
“We don’t normally see a grant this big going to a small community like ours,” Burker said.
The borough has been eyeing improvements to the park for at least a decade. The 1960s-vintage park has deteriorated and no longer meets the needs of residents.
Coplay-Whitehall Sewer Authority’s (CWSA) engineer, Darryl Jenkins, gave the board an update on problems along Front Street at the Jan. 19 meeting. According to Jenkins, the project is woefully behind schedule.
“We ran into problems with bad soil. We had instances where the soil was overflowing the sides of the trench boxes,” he said.
In deep trenching operations, a steel box is set in place at the bottom of the trench, but the sides usually stay compacted near the top of the dig because there is little pressure on the soil.
Susan Myers, who heads the Commitment to Family & Community (CFC) club, addressed Coplay Borough Council at its regular meeting Jan. 10.
As part of a lease agreement, council earlier had requested CFC have fire-suppression equipment in and around the grill inspected and approved. At the meeting, Myers verified the upgrade was scheduled for Jan. 11.
“Our goal is to be in full compliance with all the safety guidelines,” she said regarding the 165 Cherry St. building.
At Coplay Borough Council’s workshop session Jan. 3, borough Secretary Sandra Gyecsek relayed a report from Lehigh County that bids are in place for the Coplay-Northampton Bridge construction. The project could start in as few as 90 days.
Councilman Charles Sodl is meeting with the apparent contractor of record. The contractor would like to use the recently acquired borough property on Bridge Street as a staging area.
At a Dec. 6 Coplay Borough Council workshop meeting, a neighbor dispute over the location of a retaining wall had been resolved by requiring the homeowner to move the wall approximately one foot to be in compliance with the easements and setbacks required for the alley at 22 S. Court St.
The property owner had not been at that meeting but did attend the Dec. 13 council meeting to request a modification.
In 2015, with changes to Coplay Borough Council’s membership, a plan was put in place to create a community plaza on a pie-shaped piece of land next to the Giant supermarket.
“There was no commercial value in the property. But the property is a corner that defines a major intersection in town,” Councilman Stephen Burker said.
Councilman Charles Sodl and Burker sketched out a few ideas on a napkin.
“We needed something to define Coplay as a hometown,” Sodl said.
The problem was the borough had no money for a town plaza, no matter what size it might be.
At Coplay Borough Council’s workshop session Dec. 6, resident Anne Killeen asked council for a resolution on an encroachment problem with a garden wall erected by her neighbor.
The borough had granted a permit for a garden wall along the front of a home belonging to Killeen’s neighbor. The homes are separated by an alley. According to Killeen, the wall was erected and did not allow for a proper easement along the alley. Easements along the alleys are 3 feet wide to accommodate sidewalks if they are installed.
Lt. Col. Brent Fenstermaker, of Whitehall, received the Army’s Legion of Merit during his recent retirement ceremonies.
Fenstermaker was born and raised in Allentown and started his military career in 1988 with the 111th Infantry. He has a degree from Moravian College and a diploma in nursing from St. Luke’s.
At the regular meeting of Coplay Council Nov. 8, borough resident Anne Killeen continued a discussion she had with council at the workshop meeting the week before.
Killeen indicated a landscaping wall on a neighboring property on Fourth Street is built into the right of way. She contends the property was surveyed sometime back, and a survey point was etched in the macadam.
“I made my measurements from the survey point,” Killeen said.
The Whitehall Historical Preservation Society invited Rick Guth to its meeting Sept. 28 at the Helfrich Springs Grist Mill, Mickley and Lehnert roads. A couple dozen members enjoyed the first-person account of Guth, who impersonated George Taylor.