New vehicles ordered for police
The South Whitehall Police Department will be obtaining six new vehicles and associated equipment at a total cost of $397,083.
All Fords, three will be marked patrol units, and three will be unmarked command vehicles.
Equipment will include license plate readers, in-car camera systems, and mobile radios and computers.
Police Chief Glen Dorney commented on the need for the vehicles during the Feb. 19 meeting.
“Eight of our cars have over 100,000 miles,” Dorney said. “This project will lower maintenance costs and extend the life of the fleet.”
Commissioners also gave permission to Dorney to purchase 20 additional body cameras at a cost of $22,825.
“This will allow us to put everyone out on the street with a camera,” Dorney said. “The cameras provide transparency and documentation of police and citizen interactions.”
In another matter, commissioners voted 3-2 to approve Mark Pinsley for the Green Advisory Council.
Last year, while he was on the board, Pinsley proposed reducing single-use plastics in the township.
His idea led to formation of the Green Advisory Council.
After he was elected Lehigh County controller in November 2019, Pinsley resigned from the board of commissioners but expressed interest in serving on the GAC as a township resident.
During the Feb. 5 board meeting, Commissioners Matt Mobilio and Christina “Tori” Morgan voted in favor of Pinsley joining the GAC. Commissioners Diane Kelly and Michael Wolk voted against.
As it was a tie vote, the matter came up again, and Commissioner Joe Setton joined Mobilio and Morgan in favor. Kelly and Wolk were opposed.
“To deprive him, is to deprive the township,” Setton said.
Mobilio commented on the vote.
“We don’t just disregard people and their experience,” Mobilio said. “There are people who are passionate about serving the township.”
On another topic, resident Alan Starr asked commissioners to instruct the developer of Hotel Hamilton to renovate the King George Inn or tear it down.
“It’s an eyesore,” Starr said. It’s more hysterical than historical.”
He also expressed concern over hay stored in old stable buildings along Walbert Avenue, near Cedar Crest Boulevard.
“If a fire starts there, it will take part of Crest Plaza with it,” he told the board.