Salisbury Press

Monday, January 21, 2019


Wednesday, April 25, 2018 by Paul Willistein in Local News

Emergency services review vote on April 26 agenda

The Salisbury Township Board of Commissioners is expected to vote on a proposal for an emergency services comprehensive review at the 7 p.m. April 26 township meeting in the municipal building, 2900 S. Pike Ave.

The township advertised for a request for proposals for the review. The proposal expected to be voted on was reviewed April 20 by township officials.

The review would be “a study to see that the services we provide are what they should be and recommend any improvements that could be made,” Salisbury Township Manager Cathy Bonaskiewich said in an email response to a question about the RFP by a reporter for The Press.

Bonaskiewich stated in the email the improvements could encompass such topics as how to “increase and improve efficiencies, enhance coordination of services, reduce costs and avoid duplication.

“This [the review] was talked about by the board [of commissioners] from time to time over the course of last year, so monies were included in the 2018 budget for the study,” Bonaskiewich added.

At the April 12 meeting, during the courtesy of the floor portion, a representative of Western Salisbury Volunteer Fire Company asked whether the township is going to contribute to Western’s “Campaign 60,” a $3 million capital campaign to fund expansion and renovation of Swain Station, 950 S. Ott St.

Western officials seek $215,000 annually, or $1.5 million over seven years, from Salisbury Township toward the “Campaign 60” goal.

“This is the launch,” Western Salisbury Fire Chief Joshua G. Wells said of the “Campaign 60” presentation at the Aug. 24, 2017, township board of commissioners workshop when the request for township funding was made.

Western Salisbury Fire Company, founded in 1959, has its 60th anniversary in 2019, hence the “Campaign 60” moniker.

It was announced at the Aug. 24, 2017, workshop that renovation and expansion of the firehouse was expected to begin in the spring with the project to be completed in July 2019.

“The $215,000 over seven years is 50 percent of the project,” the Western representative said at the April 12 workshop. He asked whether the township would make the first-year commitment of $215,000 this year.

“We’re not ready to commit to that amount,” Board of Commissioners President Robert Martucci Jr. said, adding, “We may review ... have that talk tonight.”

Township commissioners held an executive session after the April 12 meeting and workshop.

“Your support is critical,” continued the Western representative, adding, “We’re lacking one big important donor.”

”I understand that. And after we have our discussion, someone will be in touch with you,” Martucci replied.

The other three commissioners at the April 12 meeting, Commissioners Rodney Conn and James Seagreaves and Board of Commissioners Vice President Debra Brinton, did not comment regarding township funding toward Western’s capital campaign.

Western received approval for the Swain project from the township board of commissioners, Sept. 24, 2015; Salisbury Township Planning Commission, Oct. 13, 2015 and Salisbury Township Zoning Hearing Board, April 7, 2015.

The Swain School donated the land for the Swain firehouse site and donated additional land for the proposed expansion.

In other business commissioners voted 4-0, with one commissioner absent, to:

Approve the Lehigh Valley Health Network Preliminary-Final Land Development plan at 1200 S. Cedar Crest Boulevard. Brinton made the motion, seconded by Seagreaves. The plan, recommended for approval at the Feb. 13 Salisbury Township Planning Commission, is for a new entranceway to Lehigh Valley Children’s Hospital. The entrance would be east of the main entrance of Lehigh Valley Hospital - Cedar Crest.

In his report to commissioners, Salisbury Township Chief of Police Allen W. Stiles said:

A “Drug Take-Back” program will be held 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 28 at the South Mall. It’s an opportunity for residents to dispose of prescription medicine.

An evaluation of speeding on Lehigh Parkway was to have been undertaken, following a complaint.

A “major enforcement effort” to control speeding and traffic violations in the township will be held at the end of the month [April].

During the commissoners’ workshop, utility bill certification fees, a revision to the township burn ordinance, and a revision to the property maintenance code were reviewed.