Parkland School District Business Manager John Vignone reported, at a recent school board meeting, a bond refunding conducted in mid-February worked out well for the district.
“It was twice as good as we thought,” Vignone said. “We were projecting $250,000 and got $500,000.”
He explained the bond was refunded from a higher to a lower rate of interest, with market conditions working in Parkland’s favor.
“This $500,000 reduces our debt service payment over three years and gives us more money for other things in the General Fund,” Vignone stated.
In response to residents’ complaints of excessive speed and cut-through traffic in neighborhoods, South Whitehall staff developed a draft policy and procedures for officials and concerned residents to work together for a safer community.
At a recent commissioners’ meeting, George Kinney, director of community development, offered a presentation on the proposed traffic calming policy.
The idea for the document came from PennDOT when the township asked for technical assistance to decrease speeding along Dylan Drive.
The Hotel Hamilton development proposed for a 5.3-acre site along Hamilton Boulevard, with plans dating back to 2015, received another 12-month time extension from South Whitehall commissioners.
Construction of a hotel and two other commercial buildings, possibly a bank and pharmacy, at the northeast corner of the Cedar Crest/Hamilton Boulevard intersection in Dorneyville had been proposed by developer Atul Patel.
He also agreed to preserve the historic King George Inn on the site.
Parkland School District Business Manager John Vignone has reported the gap between revenue and expenditures in the proposed 2019-20 budget was lowered from $8.99 million to $5.99 million since his previous statement in January.
Vignone said during the Feb. 19 school board meeting, the district can project about a $2 million increase over the previous amount from real estate revenue, earned income tax and interest.
On the expenditures side, Vignone said retirements of long-term employees announced in January will yield savings through attrition.
The state mandated Safe 2 Say Something program took effect in January, and Parkland School District administrators looked to students for help publicizing and demonstrating how the new effort works.
Teacher Jay Greth advised students in his film and video class on preparing a video to help peers recognize and report warning signs of threatening behavior.
School district Safety Administrator Anthony Naradko reported the Safe 2 Say Something initiative was part of Act 44 in the state legislature last June.
Union United Church of Christ, Neffs, will serve free pancakes, sausage, applesauce and fastnachts at 6 p.m. March 5.
This tradition of eating heavy food on Shrove Tuesday, before the start of Lent, will be hosted by the fellowship committee and served by the youth group.
On Ash Wednesday, March 6, all are welcome to stop by noon to 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for a time of prayer, communion and reception of ashes in the sanctuary.
Staff will distribute ashes 7:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m. and 5-6 p.m. at drive-thru locations in the parking lot.
Parkland Community Library invites the public to meetings 7-9 p.m. March 7; or 8:30-11 a.m. March 8 at the Troxell building, Cedar Crest Boulevard, South Whitehall.
The morning meeting starts at 9 a.m. but come earlier for coffee and treats.
When arriving at the Troxell building, look for signs leading to the designated meeting room.
Pat Wagner, hired by the library board to do strategic planning, will be the facilitator of the meetings.
South Whitehall commissioners have given approval for staff to adopt the Young Lungs at Play program in township playgrounds.
Recreation Manager Page Durflinger reported during the Feb. 6 commissioners’ meeting, the endeavor is designed to help eliminate children’s exposure to secondhand smoke.
Run through a partnership between the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the American Lung Association, the two groups will provide signs delineating tobacco-free zones at the sites.
Parkland Assistant Superintendent Dr. Rodney Troutman leads a group of educators from every school district in Lehigh County in an effort to improve school attendance.
Troutman spoke to The Press about the endeavor.
“Our goal is to get the best attendance for all of our kids,” Troutman said. “Children with good attendance are more likely to be successful in school.
“High attendance rates are linked to high student achievement.
Troutman noted high student achievement with school attendance is true for every grade — elementary, middle, and high school.
South Whitehall will be undertaking a major project to replace water and sewer lines along Pennsylvania Street between Cedar Crest Boulevard and 28th Street.
Assistant Public Works Manager Jerry Charvala provided an overview of the work during the commissioners Feb. 6 meeting.
“This will involve replacing water main and service lines to the curb stop, sewer main and laterals to the curb line, as well as total street reconstruction,” Charvala said.
A tentative detour plan is proposed to bypass Pennsylvania Street to Fairmount, with enclosure of two blocks at a time.