Through a series of budget preparation meetings this fall, South Whitehall administrators and commissioners have determined a tax increase will be necessary to balance the 2015 budget.
The township has prided itself on being able to avoid increasing taxes since 1989, but costs have been rising while revenue remained the same or even less due to inflation.
Director of Administration Howard Kutzler commented on the increase at the Nov. 19 meeting.
Parkland School Board has voted 5-4 to proceed with installation of artificial turf on the field at the high school used for soccer, field hockey and lacrosse.
Board members Robert Cohen, Mark Hanichak, Barry Long, Roberta Marcus, and Jef Reyburn voted for the $1.5 million undertaking during the Nov. 18 meeting.
Fellow board members Lisa Adams, Bob Bold, David Hein, and David Kennedy voted against the artificial turf.
Parkland School District Director of Student Services Robert Thornburg will be retiring after a 36-year career in education, effective June 30, 2015.
"This will create a huge void in the Parkland School District," District Superintendent Richard Sniscak said, at the Oct. 28 board meeting. "Rob always has a smile on his face."
Board member David Kennedy offered comments on Thornburg's services to Parkland students.
Union United Church of Christ, Neffs, will host a community Thanksgiving service 7 p.m. Nov. 26.
Refreshments will be served afterward in Memorial Hall.
The offering will be directed to the food bank administered by Agape Fellowship Church, Schnecksville.
St. John's United Church of Christ, 1415 Rising Sun Road, Laurys Station, will have a Thanksgiving Eve service 7:30 p.m. Nov. 26.
Pastor James Gott-wald has planned grief support workshops at St. John's UCC at 9 a.m. on Nov. 23, Nov. 30 and Dec. 7.
The section of Jordan Road between Kernsville Road and Haasadahl Road will be closed for about two weeks for reconstruction and improvements on the hilly, wooded area alongside the stream.
South Whitehall Director of Public Works Bob Ibach explained the project at the Nov. 5 commissioners' meeting.
He said the road is sliding. Workers will excavate down and install geo grids, resembling honeycombs.
The grids will be filled with material to provide a solid base for the road that will be laid on top.
Parkland Director of Food Services Todd Holmes presented a report at the Oct. 21 school board meeting on the Smart Snacks in School guidelines issued in July by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Although similar regulations were given for cafeteria meals in the past, the new rules apply to any food sold on campus during the school day.
Items in vending machines and school stores have to comply with the Smart Snack standards but foods brought in students' lunch bags from home or are given away are not included in the Smart Snack program.
In response to a resident's request for safer speeds through Mechanicsville, South Whitehall commissioners have been studying options on how to address the issue.
At the Nov. 5 meeting, township engineer Ralph Russek recommended a flashing light system be installed.
One flashing device would be placed along Orefield Road at the existing curve warning sign, while the other would be along Mauch Chunk Road, also on an existing curve warning sign.
Russek said the Penn-DOT manual allows beacons as a supplemental emphasis to warning signs on regulatory markers.
St. John's United Church of Christ, 1415 Rising Sun Road, Laurys Station, will have a walk-in basket social 5-8 p.m. Nov. 7, and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 8.
The drawing begins 3:30 p.m. Saturday. There will be baskets for food lovers, sports fans, holidays, children and more.
Plenty of food, including homemade baked goods, and refreshments will be available for eat-in or take-out.
For more information, call 610-262-8061.
Boy Scout Troop 144 will have a spaghetti dinner and basket social raffle 4-7 p.m. Nov. 15, at St. John's UCC.
During the Oct. 28 board meeting, Parkland School District Superintendent Richard Sniscak recalled a discussion on artificial turf for the soccer field commenced in August.
"The board granted us consensus to move forward with a cost analysis," Sniscak said.
He proceeded to introduce Thomas Daniels, senior project manager at Alvin H. Butz Inc., which conducted a study of the field and compiled anticipated costs for conversion to artificial turf.
"It's not a cheap project," Daniels said. "It's a million and a half, or so."
The Rev. Thomas N. Thomas has retired from Union United Church of Christ where he served as senior pastor for 30 years.
Seven months of special activities in his honor culminated Oct. 26 with Thomas' recognition as pastor emeritus.
Events that Sunday included a message from the Rev. Alan Miller of the UCC Penn Northeast Conference, presentation of gifts and remarks from staff and church leaders, and a grand celebration and picnic in the church grove.