Catasauqua Press

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Hanover joins multimunicipal comprehensive plan

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

Council also discusses waived refuse fees, rumors of airport hotel project

Hanover Township Manager Christopher Garges proposed updating the township’s comprehensive plan during the Feb. 20 council meeting. According to him, the plan is due for an update.

“I have talked with Catasauqua and North Catasauqua, who are also looking at updates to their plans,” Garges said. “We agreed that it would be beneficial to have a multimunicipal plan that incorporates all the municipalities.”

No formal time frames were presented, but representatives of the municipalities will meet to set up a working committee. Garges will present an update at the March 20 meeting of council.

Council will also update garbage collection fees in the ordinance. Fees recorded now are $115 per year. The new fees, based on the latest contract, are estimated at $349 per resident. Mascaro has the existing contract for the township through 2020, with optional extensions. Council has bid the contract at various times.

Before homeowners panic, the refuse fees are waived — and have been waived for years. There is no intent to begin charging for refuse collection, according to council. Along with its low tax rate, free garbage collection is one of the benefits of living in Hanover Township.

Garges also presented council with an update on projects in the township. Approved projects for Primo and B. Braun are underway. The Primo warehouse facility has steel erected. B. Braun is doing site and utility work.

There have been various rumors about a hotel at the airport. According to Garges, the township has received no preliminary plans or requests from the airport or a developer. This does not mean a hotel will not be built; it only means that no concept plan is prepared with enough detail to present to the township.

The township did make comments at prior meetings on property at the corner of Airport Road and American Parkway. The developers of Airport Center proposed a mixed commercial and residential apartment complex at the site. There have been several proposals for the busy corner, but none has moved past the concept stage. The property spans the city of Allentown and Hanover Township.

Lehigh Valley Planning Commission is keen on getting the D&L Trail fully functional. The break in the trail is the area between Allentown and North Catasauqua. The full 163-mile trail extends from Whitehaven to Philadelphia. North Catasauqua is making a strong push to get the trail complete and tie it into the existing trailhead in Whitehall.

According to Garges, through the Department of Natural Resources, D&L secured an engineer to develop a section of the trail from Hanover Canal Park to Catasauqua. The anticipated start date is 2020.

Council authorized the township engineer to prepare specifications for the Valley Plaza sewer replacement project funded in the capital projects budget. The lot was recently paved, which caused concern by some tenants. The township agreed to video-monitor the lines to check status. The lines were last checked in 2012. The project will be delayed if possible or if the sewers can be relined.