Parkland Press

Monday, June 18, 2018

Upper Macungie Township police officer receives kudos

Thursday, June 23, 2016 by KENNETH BLEILER Special to The Press in Local News

Two new members join the force

Police business was first on the agenda for Upper Macungie supervisors at their June meeting.

They welcomed two new police officers to the township force.

District Judge Michael Faulkner swore in Officers Philip Shedaker and Joshua Santos.

The force now consists of 30 officers who work under the command of Chief Edgardo Colon.

Other police business included the commendation of Officer Matthew Gardner for his outstanding service to the residents of the community.

He was in charge of a drug investigation that resulted in the seizure of drugs, weapons and cash and several arrests.

Some handguns were recovered that had been stolen.

Colon’s monthly report showed 764 calls for service and 483 traffic citations.

DUI offenses were the highest number in reported crimes at 18 with vandalism/criminal mischief a distant second place at eight.

The K-9 corps was busy with two narcotics checks, one explosive check, one area search, five stop assists and two public demonstrations.

Total inspections in the motor carrier safety program amounted to 19 with 80 violations discovered and 16 citations issued.

The driving enforcement program was conducted several times.

Four checkpoints were held with 98 citations being issued.

High speed in the 45 mph zone was 94 mph along Route 222.

A DUI checkpoint, which, after 557 vehicles were checked,resulted in two drug impaired arrests and one passenger was cited for having a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

In other matters, Lehigh County Farmland Preservation Specialist Jeff Zehr, addressed the board on land preservation.

Zehr, along with the Bureau of Agricultural Land Preservation, work closely with the Lehigh County Land Preservation Board to try and preserve as much farmland as possible for future generations.

Total acreage preserved to date in Lehigh County is 21,693 acres, he explained.

Each year the county reviews the applications submitted and decides which farms are most desirable for preservation. The county budgeted $650,000 for purchase of development rights and the state allocated $1,931,024 making a total $2,581,024 available for 2016.

Farms are ranked after the March 31 application deadline with the top farms being selected.

Maximum amount the board will pay is $5,000 per acre.

As there is a possibility of having too much land available for the amount of money committed, any farmland not selected will be put on the list for the following year.

Zehr said there are several reasons for preserving farmland, among them are the disappearance of natural farmland, the local farms produce fresh fruit and vegetables, property taxes are kept low and jobs are provided locally.

Supervisors authorized the solicitor to draft an ordinance regarding truck routes within the township.

A map will be created and signs will be erected warning truck drivers there vehicles will not be allowed on certain roads.

A top soil ordinance was also authorized which will require a minimum of 6 inches of topsoil to be placed on building lots at final grading time.

The board also recognized William Thomas Campbell for his participation in the Eagle Scout program.

Fire Marshal Grant Grim’s report of the fire companies’ activities for the month showed 87 fire inspections.

Emergency responses were 19 for Station 8; 27 for Station 25 and 38 for Station 56.

Requests for fire police assistance were received from North Whitehall Township and Macungie Borough.

Station 8 enrolled one new member while Station 25 received one senior and Station 56 welcomed two new members.

Junior Emergency Services Academy will be held July 18-22 at Station 56.

The Public Works department was kept busy with the usual items including paving of the parking lot at Grange Road Park, repairing the catch basin and replacing sidewalk at Lone Lane Park and repairing catch basins on Boulder Drive. Street line painting was done by an outside contractor.

Supervisors had a long discussion on the DCT industrial property at the intersection of Mill Road and Tilghman Street.

Of concern was the handling of stormwater on the property.

As the lot is small, the applicant has proposed the installation of injection wells for the roof runoff.

The plan was conditionally approved based on stormwater methods being reviewed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, state Department of Environmental Protection and the Lehigh County Conservation District.

If wells are suitable, only clean roof water is allowed; no condensate from air conditioning systems will be allowed; no wells in the truck area and the injection wells must be protected.

The recreation report stated the recreation board will set up a table at township events to promote programs offered to residents.

Extended hours for the Independent Park facility for New Year’s Eve were granted.

A private party will be held and they will be allowed to stay until 1 a.m. as long as someone from the township is available to close the building.