Catasauqua Press

Tuesday, April 24, 2018
PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL CMILChristopher Garges gets to work as Hanover Township’s new manager. PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL CMILChristopher Garges gets to work as Hanover Township’s new manager.

Garges discusses township position

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

Hanover’s ‘unique community’ is appealing, he says

In March, Hanover Township selected Christopher Garges as its new manager. Garges sat down with The Press to chat about his vision for Hanover.

“This is a little different than what I was used to,” he said. “In Hanover, we have a strong business focus. Our residential population is around 2,000.”

Garges held a position as zoning officer with Lower Saucon Township, a community with 11,000 residents.

“Our main commercial revenue [in Lower Saucon] came from the landfill that is nearing capacity,” he said. “Here the business community has long-term commitments to the township.”

The township manager position appealed to Garges because it allows him to use his 13 years of experience as a zoning officer and develop new skills as a township manager.

“Hanover is a unique community. We have good funding from our business partners, and we serve our residents well,” he said.

With most of the staff remaining in place, Garges places his emphasis on maintaining township services and improving administration processes.

“I want to modernize our record-keeping, incorporating finance and administration,” he said. “The goal is to integrate functions into one program.”

Garges is an active athlete with 13 Boston Marathons to his credit.

“We want to see how the township can work closely with the D&L Trail to maintain a good quality of life,” he said.

Garges worked with multiple municipalities to develop the Saucon Valley Trail that begins near the Bethlehem Greenway and will be extended into Quakertown.

Garges lives in Coopersburg with his wife and two children. His wife works at St. Luke’s.

“One of the things I am still fascinated by is the airplanes landing at the airport,” he said. “It’s a thrilling sight.”

Garges was briefed on the problems the township might encounter with increased activity generated by warehouses that serve airport freight. He does want to minimize disturbances.

“Not having a land development authority does limit our control,” he said.

He offered updates on the projects impacting the township. Mid-August is the projected date for completing the Willowbrook Road and Race Street intersection. There is a bypass on Willowbrook Road under construction that will allow the contractors to rework stormwater lines that will be buried under Willowbrook Road and eliminate the swale just before the intersection.

The bypass is expected to be completed shortly. Completing roadway expansion on Race Street and Airport Road through the township to Route 22 has an expected completion in October.

“I’m happy to be able to serve the people of Hanover Township,” Garges said. “We will have some challenges in the future. Council has a lot of experience that I can tap into.”