Lehigh Commissioners, on Sept. 12, paid homage to one of the county’s most illustrious residents — Joseph R. Zeller, “statesman, patriot and recipient of the Freedom Foundation Award.”
Zeller was honored on the occasion of his 100th birthday on Sept. 19.
In a special resolution, commissioners thanked Zeller “for a lifetime of service to his community and his country.”
The resolution described Zeller as one who brought “unbounded vision, impassioned drive and unmitigated commitment to virtually any issue he addressed ...”
Lehigh County Commissioners have given final approval for transfer of a male bison from Trexler Nature Preserve to the Catoctin Zoo and Wildlife Preserve, Thurmont, Md.
The male bison, born in 2013, is the result of a managed breeding program started in 2011.
The young male would predictably challenge the elder male bison and cause problems for the herd.
Lehigh County Commissioners, officials and residents received their first look at the proposed budget for 2019 Aug. 31 when County Executive Phillips Armstrong presented his first budget since assuming office.
After a visual presentation of supporting charts and documents, Armstrong gave the hefty 488-page “on-time’ budget to Commissioner Dr. Percy Dougherty.
To make the proposed $506.1 million budget (themed “Back to the Future”) balance, Armstrong resurrected the 2015 millage rate of 3.79 to meet the needs of the future.
“This is my 27th year in corrections,” Lehigh County Jail Warden Janine Donate replied when asked by Lehigh County Commissioner Nathan Brown to address the board during their Aug. 22 meeting.
Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong had just nominated Donate to be the new director of corrections.
He described her as someone of whom he is proud, someone who has been “coming up from our own ranks.”
Lehigh County commissioners have approved the 2019-23 Capital Plan which will set investments in capital projects through 2023.
Commissioner Dr. Percy Dougherty, who sponsored the plan, said the $129.1 million spending proposal is higher than previous years as it contains about $73 million for the planned Cedarbrook Senior Care and Rehabilitation renovation.
In other business at the Aug. 8 meeting, commissioners reappointed Bill McQuilken of Lynn Township to the Lehigh County Drug and Alcohol Abuse Board.
Lehigh County commissioners have given preliminary approval for the 2019-23 Capital Plan, which calls for a five-year expenditure of $129,107,334.
The first reading of the plan passed 8-0. Commissioner Brad Osborne was absent from the July 25 meeting.
Some big-ticket expenses being funded in 2019 include replacement of the voting system at $3,500,000; the Coplay to Northampton Bridge at $5,000,000; and courthouse upgrades at $1,060,000.
The Pennsylvania Music Preservation Society will likely receive a $2,000 grant, $3,000 less than the newly formed nonprofit had requested from the county.
Lehigh County commissioners approved a motion to amend the bill to reduce the original $5,000 to $2,000.
At the previous meeting, during the first reading of the bill, Commissioner Percy Dougherty opposed the idea of giving $5,000 saying other deserving organizations which have been operational for many years were only getting $2,000.
The bill is expected to be voted on again at the next commissioners’ meeting.
It’s not often that U. S. Supreme Court decisions are cited in the chambers of the Lehigh County Commissioners, but county employee Francisco Molina did exactly that June 27 when he addressed the board during the public comment part of the agenda.
Medina, who has work for the county since 2004 and for the Lehigh County Office of Children and Youth since 2006, said he does not want the county to provide his banking information to Service Employees International Union so the union can automatically withdraw union dues from his bank account.
A $5,000 grant to the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center fell through June 13 when the one of the sponsors of the bill, Amy Zanelli, abstained from voting.
She then watched the votes split between the remaining eight commissioners, 4-4.
Zanelli commented on her abstention.
“I volunteer for, contribute to, and benefit from the Bradbury-Sullivan Community Center,” Zanelli said. “I will abstain.”
Two Boy Scouts — Tyler Timothy Prehl and Ben Heintzelman — were honored by Lehigh County commissioners May 9 in resolutions commending them for attaining the rank of Eagle Scout.
Heintzelman is a member of Boy Scout Troop 261 in the Minsi Trails Council. His Eagle Scout project was to design and construct a woodshed for firewood storage at Ziegels Union Church, Breinigsville.
Prehl is a Parkland High School student with a 4.4 GPA. He will attend West Chester University with a full scholarship this fall.