Lower Macungie Township Agenda Preview 11/20

FYI –  In these previews I may indicate thoughts on an issue, but it in no way means my mind is set. During a critical hearing for the Jaindl issue, a Commissioner spoke before public comment outlining he was voting to move forward the project regardless of what people said during public comment. That was wrong. Public debate was circumvented when the Commissioner indicated his mind was made up.

My hope is by blogging I open the door for conversations. One of my biggest issues with the Jaindl debacle was folks didn’t truly understand what was happening until it was “too late”. I plan on doing everything I can to make sure residents have background information on issues. This is one mechanism to do that. I hope people find it useful. Please contact me at ronbeitler@gmail.com if you have any questions or concerns about any issues.

Plan approval for Eastern Industries:
This is a lot consolidation and minor subdivision plan. The property is located on Hamilton Boulevard and Schantz Rd. This parcel is zoned Commercial and it’s likely we will see a large shopping center land development proposal in the next 2 years. The subdivision and lot consolidation is the first step. 

The agenda has 9 letters concerning Quarry Park. All expressing opposition or concern for various reasons.

Appointments to Boards & Commissions
I will be motioning (as chair of public safety committee) to appoint Mark Spengler to a vacant position on the Public Safety Commission (PSC) and additionally to appoint Dr. Janine Mathesz as an Ad-hoc (non voting member)
Both these folks were the unanimous recommendations of the PSC.

The reason the PSC recommended an ad-hoc is that this cycle we had an exceptionally deep pool of qualified candidates. 9 applications to be exact. Any one of the people would have made excellent members. The decision was made that although we are limited in number of voting members we can appoint at this time we can appoint non-voting members. These people sit at the table and can offer feedback and participate in discussions.

The amount of well qualified residents we have who apply to volunteer positions is a credit to the township.

Dept. Matters

Planning Commission for Recommendation for action on Smart Growth plan. 

Below is the letter. I will write about my thoughts on this issue next week.photo (7)photo (9)

Presentation of 2015 Budget & Authorization to advertise ordinance.
Here is the process moving forward.

We completed 3 budget workshops where the budget was examined in terms of departments and grants. The 3rd workshop focused on Quarry Park. At that workshop “consensus” was reached to keep the line item in the budget. To translate consensus this means each commissioner had the opportunity to sum up there feelings on the subject. Commissioner Brown and myself expressed concerns. Lancsek, Conrad and Higgins are in favor.

Moving forward at tonight’s meeting the board will consider advertising the budget. The last step is formal consideration and adoption which occurs at the last meeting of year Dec. 18th. Both tonight and that final meeting present an opportunity for residents to weigh in.


The Budget & Finance committee will meet today at 6:15.
Approval of Budget transfer
Basically this resolution accounts for various revenues and expenditures from 2014 that either exceeded or fell below budgeted amounts. This resolution reconciles that.

This includes:
Additional 7,000 in revenue from the decision to keep the Kratzer Farm house and continue renting.
Additional 6,500 in electrical permits above forecasted amount.
42,500 in insurance reimbursements

On other end the director of finance has determined that the township will require an additional 9,408 to pay for Volunteer firefighters relief, 37,000 in workers compensation and 12,000 for health insurance.

Planning & Zoning

EAC recommendation for earmarking Jaindl real estate windfall for open space.

I cover this issue here. I 100% support this and outline reasoning here.

Gen Ad:

Review of LMYA land use agreement. I have reviewed the draft agreement but I am looking for some context tonight. The issue will be considered at the 6:15 general administration committee meeting.