SALISBURY TOWNSHIP BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
The recently-appointed consultant for the emergency services comprehensive review in Salisbury Township has briefed the board of commissioners regarding the project and scope of the study.
“This is something that we’re very passionate about,” Duane Hagelgans said of the review. “This is what we do.”
Township commissioners voted unanimously 5-0 at the April 26 meeting to approve an emergency services review for the township.
Under the agreement, the township will pay $45,000 to Hagelgans’ firm, Duane Hagelgans Consulting, Lancaster, to do the emergency services review.
At the May 10 meeting, Hagelgans said he met with Salisbury Township Manager Cathy Bonaskiewich and will meet with Salisbury Township Chief of Police Allen W. Stiles, members of Eastern Salisbury Volunteer Fire Department and Western Salisbury Volunteer Fire Department, township employees and township residents. “What are their thoughts?” Hagelgans asked rhetorically.
“A lot of it is Pennsylvania-related issues,” Hagelgans said, noting Salisbury Township has a geographic similarity to Lancaster Township in that the City of Lancaster divides one portion of the township from the other portion, similar to the way the City of Allentown divides the western portion from the eastern portion of Salisbury.
“This project is very exciting because it’s your entire services,” Hagelgans said, speaking informally after the May 10 meeting with commissioners, as well as some Western Salisbury officials who were at the meeting.
During the meeting, commissioners did not have any questions for Hagelgans, an associate professor at Millersville University of Pennsylvania, Lancaster, where he heads the Center for Disaster Research and Education.
Hagelgans has been a fire commissioner for seven years for the Blue Rock Regional Fire District in the Borough of Millersville.
Attending the Salisbury meeting with Hagelgans was Ann M. Harach of the Blue Rock Regional Fire District.
Deadline for completing the township emergency services review is January 2019.
The timing of the emergency services review has apparently put on hold a request for township funding from Western Salisbury Volunteer Fire Company.
Western Salisbury officials seek $215,000 annually, or $1.5 million over seven years, from the township toward “Campaign 60,” a request made at an Aug. 24, 2017, township workshop by Western Salisbury Fire Chief Joshua G. Wells, who attended the May 10 and April 26 township meetings.
Western Salisbury, founded in 1959, has its 60th anniversary in 2019, hence “Campaign 60” to fund renovation and expansion of Western’s Swain Fire Station, 950 S. Ott St.
At the April 12 township meeting, Adam Al-Khal, Western Salisbury president and deputy fire chief, who also attended the May 10 and April 26 township meetings, asked if the township was going to help fund Western’s “Campaign 60.”
At the April 26 township meeting, John Kellyws Jr., a trustee on the board of directors of Western Salisbury, asked commissioners to put the question of township support for “Campaign 60” on the Nov. 6 ballot.
In 1989, township commissioners approved a ballot question on floating a bond to construct Eastern Salisbury Volunteer Fire Company station, East Emmaus Avenue and Honeysuckle Road. The referendum passed by a two-thirds majority of township voters.
In other business at the May 10 township meeting, commissioners voted 5-0 to approve:
- A resolution to conditionally approve the Roche Painting Land Development Plan.
Aaron Roche of Roche Painting LLC, proposes to build a 2,100-square-foot building with 14 parking spaces and entrance driveway on 1.135 acres on the west side of South Pike Avenue (2686 S. Fourth St.) in a C-2 Zoning Neighborhood Commercial District with a portion in an R-4 Zoning Medium Density Residential District.
The township planning commission voted 5-0 at its April 10 meeting to recommend commissioners’ approve the plan for the building, which would house supplies and provide office space for Roche Painting. Construction cost is estimated at $400,000.
Roche and Edward Schlaner Jr., of Martin H. Schuler Company, an Allentown civil engineering and surveying company, attended the May 10 meeting.
Township Engineer David J. Tettemer, of Keystone Consulting Engineers, Inc., noted township planners’ recommendation for commissioners’ approval of the plan, which includes two waivers, for the combining of the preliminary and final plan, and for the planting of five street trees, and one deferral for construction of sidewalks and curbing. “They will be planting some extra street trees on the property, but not along South Pike Avenue,” Tettemer said.
South Fourth Street is a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation jurisdiction highway. A PennDOT Highway Occupancy Permit is needed for the driveway and PennDOT approval is required for the deferral of curbs and sidewalks. A meeting between Schlaner and PennDOT officials was held April 13.
PennDOT permits have been received, but the plan is still being reviewed by the Lehigh County Conservation District, according to Tettemer.
Commissioners had no questions prior to the motion for the vote, made by Commissioner Rodney Conn and seconded by board of commissioners Vice President Debra Brinton.
- A motion to authorize Kirk, Summa & Co., LLP, to re-audit the township’s 2016 financial records at a cost of $15,000. Conn made the motion, seconded by Commissioner Joanne Ackerman to bring the motion to a vote.
“This is all because our former auditor is not providing any of the information?” Commissioner James Seagreaves asked.
“You are correct,” Salisbury Township Director of Finance Paul Ziegenfus replied.
“Is there something legally we can do?” Ackerman asked.
“We wanted to get this done,” Salisbury Township Solicitor Atty. John W. Ashley of Davison & McCarthy, said of the audit, adding, “If it’s financially-warranted,” the township could consider legal action.
By a unanimous 5-0 vote at the Jan. 11 meeting, township commissioners appointed Dale E. Kirk, CPA, of Kirk Summa & Co, LLP, with offices in Allentown, East Stroudsburg, and Brodheadsville, as auditor for fiscal years 2017 through 2019.
Kirk succeeds Todd J. Bushta, CPA, who, with his own firm, Bushta & Company, LLC, and working for other accounting firms, was the township auditor for 15 years.
Martucci said commissioners would meet in an executive session after the May 10 meeting to discuss personnel matters, and had held an executive session after the April 26 township meeting to discuss legal matters.
Salisbury Township Police Chief Allen W. Stiles chaired the May 10 meeting in the absence of Bonaskiewich.