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.
Upper Lehigh Historical Society will have a clear toy candy and cookie sale at the Schneck House 1-4 p.m. Dec. 10.
The clear toys will be made by Suzanne Wainwright-Evans in various shapes formed in molds from her collection.
Select homemade cookies to be weighed and sold by the pound.
The Schneck House is the log structure across from McDonald’s along Route 873, Schnecksville.
Parkland High School Chorale will present a holiday concert 7 p.m. Dec. 10 at Union United Church of Christ, Neffs.
According to the financial plan presented at the recent Act 34 hearing, property owners in the Parkland School District will probably experience tax increases in the next three years to fund bond issues for construction of a $35 million elementary school in Upper Macungie Township.
Business Manager John Vignone stated the school district plans to borrow $9.6 million, with a resulting 0.04 mills, in January 2018.
That equals an additional $40 on each $100,000 of assessed property value.
South Whitehall’s property tax for the 2018 general fund budget will remain at 2.49975 mills, the same as this year.
However, if approved by commissioners on Dec. 6, residents will be billed 0.47 mills for a newly created fire fund.
The tax amounts to $47 on each $100,000 of assessed property value.
These funds would be kept separate from the general fund and used only for fire related purposes to sustain the volunteer fire stations.
The fire fund tax is expected to bring in about $1.1 million in revenue in the new year.
A year after South Whitehall voters approved a referendum allowing the township to borrow $600,000 for restoration of Wehr’s Dam, commissioners approved $45,000 for the first year of the project.
In a report presented to the board by Michael Baker International in April 2016, the first year includes engineering and permit fees.
Commissioner Glenn Block reported at the board’s Nov. 1 meeting the first phase is soft costs, including some design work and permits which can take 12 to 18 months to obtain from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
South Whitehall commissioners have proposed a 0.47-mill fire tax to be added on to residents’ real estate bills in response to increasing costs of equipment and other necessities associated with fire protection.
Board President Christine “Tori” Morgan explained the reason for the tax.
“The cost of everything is going up,” Morgan said. “This will provide long-term sustainability for the volunteer fire companies.”
The tax, $47 on each $100,000 of assessed property value, would be kept separate from the general fund and used only for fire-related purposes.