South Whitehall commissioners have unanimously approved the 2018 general fund budget tax rate of 2.49975 mills, the same as 2017.
The general fund budget covers salaries, benefits, utilities, legal and engineering fees, and pension costs.
Residents will also be billed 0.47 mills for the newly created fire fund.
This tax amounts to $47 on each $100,000 of assessed property values.
This money will be kept separate from the general fund and used only for fire-related purposes to sustain the volunteer fire stations.
Parkland School Board has granted approval to Lehigh Carbon Community College to proceed with plans for relocation of its center city Allentown site.
LCCC board member Roberta Marcus reported classes are presently held in the former Portland Cement Co. building, known as the Donley Center, at 718 Hamilton Street.
She said college officials have tried to retrofit the building through the years but the large cement pillars in most rooms are a drawback.
During the public comment portion of the school board meeting on Dec. 19, several parents expressed concerns about the district’s handling of communication after alleged threats to student safety were received by authorities on Dec. 4.
Superintendent Richard Sniscak explained the threats occurred on a Friday night in a private home.
“On Monday, we found out about a threat and turned it over to police,” Sniscak said. “When an investigation takes place by police, it’s in police hands.
“When law enforcement becomes involved, then it’s turned over to law enforcement.
A group of officers and board members of the Schnecksville Community Fair will travel to Hershey Lodge in January 2018, for the Pennsylvania State Association of County Fairs 106th annual convention.
They will attend various seminars to find ideas which can be brought back to Schnecksville.
One aspect of the convention is for showmen such as carnival acts, concessionaires and ride operators to publicize what they have to offer.
Performers such as jugglers and musicians will display their talents seeking to be booked by local fairs.
Cirrus, the large black German shepherd working in the South Whitehall police department for six years, has retired.
At a recent commissioners’ meeting, Police Chief John Christman reported Cirrus’ badge will be retired and put on display in the police building along with those of other department retirees.
The reason for the dog’s retirement is his handler, Kyle Golden, has been promoted to sergeant, a supervisory position and they do not have a K-9.
However, Cirrus will remain with Golden, who has been his partner since 2011.
South Whitehall commissioners have given Director of Public Works Jeff Clapper permission to advertise for 2018 lawn mowing services.
At the board’s Dec. 6 meeting, Clapper said he wants to give contractors a chance to see the mowing sites before they become snow covered.
Bids will be done after Jan. 1, 2018.
Clapper said outside help will be used at 50 locations scattered throughout the township.
He commented on the work to be done by non-township workers.
Faith Wesleyan Church, 3356 Route 309, Orefield, will present a live nativity and Bethlehem Christmas experience 7-9 p.m. Dec. 15, 16, and 17.
Participants will enter into a re-created City of Bethlehem to see a cast wearing period costumes. Visitors can be part of the census, interact with merchants and sample simple foods.
Hear what the people of Bethlehem might have been saying that special night so long ago. See the inn and watch as the innkeeper offers Joseph and Mary shelter in the stable.
Parkland School Board members have re-elected David Kennedy as president and Lisa Roth as vice president for the next year.
This will be the third term in that position for each of them.
Kennedy, who is in his 21st year on the board, commented on the work ahead.
“I rely heavily on the team of 10,” Kennedy said. “We are a very transparent board. The new school that’s in the works will be an exciting project moving forward.
“We’ll continue to improve academics in Parkland.”
Union United Church of Christ, Neffs, has selected Kayli Freeman of New Smithville as associate pastor.
She fills the position vacated by the Rev. Kris Snyder-Samuelson who advanced to senior pastor one year ago.
A 2006 graduate of Northwestern Lehigh High School, Freeman earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Shippensburg University in 2010.
She graduated from Moravian Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree in 2013.
Freeman’s ordination took place Dec. 10 at her home church, St. John’s United Church of Christ, Emmaus.
Parkland School District Business Manager John Vignone presented a preview of the 2018-19 budget to the board at its Nov. 21 meeting.
Vignone said the district will not raise taxes more than the 2.4 percent Act 1 Index issued by the state.
Therefore, the maximum allowable mill increase for the new budget will be 0.36, or $36 on every $100,000 of assessed property value.
The new tax rate would be no higher than 15.49 mills.