Townships, boroughs to receive gaming program grants
At the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners meeting Aug. 22, the board approved the distribution of gaming program grants.
Whitehall Township is allocated $62,250 for a police cruiser and a license plate reader; Coopersburg Borough gets $32,993 for a police cruiser; Upper Saucon Township gets the same amount for a police cruiser; Fountain Hill Borough gets $113,800 for a rescue system, a patrol vehicle and training and outfitting of three part-time officers; and Salisbury Township gets $113,800 for two patrol vehicles, funding for 300 hours of additional police patrols in the traffic corridor safety project and other hardware, including camera systems.
According to Lehigh County Recreation Authority Executive Director Michael Kukitz, a feasibility study on the sustainability of a 16,000-square-foot Northern Lehigh Community Center building at West Church Street in Slatington will be completed by the end of the year. Kukitz said he would share the results of that feasibility study with county commissioners.
He said a public hearing is scheduled for Sept. 20 at the Northern Lehigh School District Administration Building.
Commissioners approved release of $3,250 for the feasibility study. It is a portion of the total money set aside in the county’s budget for the Northern Lehigh Community Center.
“This is my 27th year in corrections,” said Warden Janine Donate when asked by Commissioner Nathan Brown to address the board of commissioners. She is currently the warden of Lehigh County Jail and has been nominated to be the new director of corrections for the county.
Donate had just been introduced by Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong as someone of whom he is proud, someone who has been “coming up from our own ranks.”
The proposed $5 vehicle tax to fix infrastructure, such as bridges, proposed by Armstrong at the last meeting came under attack by Joe Hilliard, who called it “a total money grab on the middle class and working poor.” He said it is just not needed.
“All of our bridges are fixed,” Hilliard added.
He called the proposed state contribution of $2 million to those counties who enact the vehicle tax a bribe.
“Hold them (the state) to what they should do,” Hilliard said.
County commissioners also gave a preliminary, first reading approval to give a young bison bull, from its herd at Trexler Nature Preserve, to Catoctin Wildlife Preserve in Thurmont, Md. Because the young bull is “coming of age,” he will be a challenge to the existing dominant male on the preserve and must be transferred.