Parkland Press

Friday, October 20, 2017

Bieak gives report on Ironton Rail-Trail

Thursday, February 16, 2017 by KENNETH BLEILER Special to The Press in Local News

Several members of the Ironton Rail-Trail project were present at the North Whitehall supervisors’ meeting.

Ray Bieak gave a report on the events that have occurred and some of the future ones anticipated.

He noted the Ironton Rail-Trail Commission has celebrated its 20th year.

The trail was voted Best 2016 Scenic Trail in the Lehigh Valley by Lehigh Valley Style magazine.

With the addition of a 1.5-mile section from Portland to Levans Road, a total of 9.2 miles is available for use.

Several historical walks were held, along with some 5K walks and one 10K.

Many improvements were noted.

Future events include a historical walk 9 a.m. March 25, a pediatric cancer 8K run/5K walk 8 a.m. April 1, Trot for Tykes 10K race 8 a.m. April 22, Neurofibromatosis 5K at 9 a.m. May 13, Fibromyalgia 5K at 9 a.m. May 20 and the IRT 21st anniversary celebration 5K run/walk presented by Emmaus Run Inn and IRT on June 4.

Registration for the anniversary event starts at 8 a.m. Starting sites for the other events vary.

For more information visit the website at rail.trail@yahoo.com. Three Boy Scouts from Troop 57 attended the North Whitehall supervisors meeting.

Stewart Albert and Sam and Nick Tomko were at the meeting as a requirement toward obtaining their “Citizenship in the Community” merit badges.

In other matters, Secretary Brenda Norder noted the township office will be closed Feb. 20 for Presidents Day and no tires will be accepted at the recycling center until April 1.

The board received a request concerning the Park Hollow minor subdivision along Clearview Road asking for an extension of time in order to present the plan.

Right of way improvements are needed along with the relocation of the water line.

Supervisors granted an extension until May 1.

Timber Ridge subdivision requested a withdrawal of $56,963 from its letter of credit.

Manchester Place subdivision also asked for a withdrawal from their letter of credit in the amount of $35,626.25.

Supervisors approved both requests.

Norder told the board that the authorized distributions to the emergency service organizations and fire companies along with the Upper Lehigh Historical Society and the Ironton Rail-Trail will be given to the respective organizations.

Ironton Rail-Trail Oversight Commission will receive $500 and the Upper Lehigh Historical Society was allotted $2,600.

The Northern Valley Ambulance Corps will receive one-half of its yearly allotment in the sum of $26,750 and each of the four fire companies will receive $16,750.

Supervisor Mark Hills asked if construction of a community center in the township could be possible.

It could be home to the library and have recreation facilities such as basketball courts and maybe a swimming pool.

Supervisor Steve Pany said that might not be a good idea because of the cost of construction and the continued cost of running the facility.

Township Manager Jeff Bartlett told supervisors the pipe will be replaced on Grist Mill Road with funding from the dirt roads fund run by the state.

All engineering studies were completed including environmental studies. No funding will be available for the design of the project.

Bartlett also said the in-ground swimming pool at the township park must be removed.

The township will be requesting bids for this undertaking.

Bartlett also gave a report on a recent seminar he attended concerning the growing and selling of marijuana.

According to Bartlett, medical marijuana is a highly regulated industry and would be allowed only in certain areas of the township.

All growing would be inside buildings especially suited for that purpose.

Although he thinks the zoning ordinance is adequate, he will check to see if any changes are necessary.