Catasauqua Press

Monday, December 11, 2017

Township points to FL Smidth for runoff problems

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 by Paul Cmil Special to The Press in Local News

A Hanover Township official is blaming decisions made by the City of Bethlehem for causing water problems in a township neighborhood.

At the Sept. 20 meeting of the Hanover Township Council, town- ship Engineer Robert Kortze updated council on his investigation into stormwater runoff problems that have plagued properties in the Saylor’s Mobile Home Park.

“Our first course of action is to contact the City of Bethlehem because the stormwater originates there,” he said.

Kortze theorizes that as development has increased along Schoenersville Road, Bethlehem has added more stormwater capacity without considering all the consequences.

Stormwater passes to detention ponds on property owned by FL Smidth. According to Kortze, there is correspondence with FL Smidth and the City of Bethlehem that the detention ponds were not built to specifications. He said FL Smidth added to the problem when it expanded its parking facility and set up an employee volleyball court in one of the ponds.

The problem is long in the making, stretching back for almost a decade, he said.

Kortze has obtained no resolution from Bethlehem. According to his records, Bethlehem agrees the stormwater detention pond was not built to specifications. They have chosen to ignore the situation.

Kortze said he will continue to follow up with Bethlehem to see if he can break through the impasse.

In other business, township Manager Sandra Pudliner updated the board on the status of a zoning violation against the GNC store.

As part of a local promotion, GNC put temporary signs in various locations advertising its latest nutritional supplement. The signs require a permit, according to Pudliner.

She informed the company of the problem and asked that the signs be removed. If the company fails to comply, the township will, at a minimum, lodge a complaint with the magistrate.

Also at the meeting, Director of Public Works Jeffry Mouer gave the council an update on winter preparations.

“We have enough salt, and are ready for the snow,” he said.

He advised council there are improvements going on at Sherwood Park and the park would be closed during construction.

The township continues to move forward with its ordinance on cell towers. The latest change in the language is to clarify structures that could be impacted by the towers.

The goal is to get everything approved and advertised.

The local cell tower ordinance was precipitated by action at the state level that would remove all local restrictions on towers. The state’s logic is cell towers are part of the utility infrastructure and should not be inhibited.

Although that legislative action is currently on the back burner, it seemed appropriate to have local restrictions in place.