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.
Adam Faisetty, of 1202 Woodlawn St., Whitehall, made a second appearance before Coplay Whitehall Sewer Authority’s board Sept. 20. On Aug. 16, he reported the problems he had with sewer water backing up into his basement. He said he installed an elaborate set of ball valves and cutoffs to prevent the water from entering his house.
All his protection did not stop water from backing up during the rains Aug. 21 and 22. He said he used his Shop-Vac to remove the water and the mess and called in Servpro to clean his basement.
With the Coplay-Northampton Bridge under construction, Coplay Borough decided to fix the intersection at Second and Chestnut streets. Township Engineer Daniel Witczak, of Acela Engineering, presented his findings at the Coplay Borough Council meeting Sept. 11.
Council members had expressed their concerns about the intersection during several prior meetings. The goal, as Councilman Charles Sodl expressed it, is to make the borough’s busiest intersection as good as it can be.
Making it the best includes a good base.
On Aug. 20, the long-awaited and weather-delayed beams traveled to Coplay to be installed on the Coplay side of the Coplay-Northampton Bridge.
A daily run of beams last week was expected. Two beams were scheduled each day, with four making the journey last Thursday.
This week had a similarly intense schedule.
At Coplay Whitehall Sewer Authority’s regular meeting Aug. 16, the stage was set for a review of the bid for a solar array to power the Eberhart power station. The PennBid paperwork showed the lone bid from RER Energy at an expected $127,000, plus an additional $5,000 for ancillary work. The total bid should be $132,000, which was tabulated in one section of the bidding document.
The total bid price column showed a number closer to $300,000.
At Coplay council’s regular meeting Aug. 14, borough Engineer Daniel Witczak, of Acela Engineering, presented an update on the road improvement at Second and Chestnut streets.
Council expressed its concern about the project because it is funded with an expiring Community Development Block Grant. Witczak confirmed the grant funds were extended to the end of the year.
The targeted intersection has always been a problem for the borough, but it is a busy intersection. With the bridge closed, the borough took action.