County authority gets new life
Lehigh County Authority (LCA) will get its requested 43-year lease extension. In a preliminary first reading, county commissioners approved amending the Articles of Incorporation of the LCA to extend its term of existence from the date the deal is approved by the Pa. Department of State.
Lehigh County Commissioners June 12 approved the bill 9-0.
The move allows LCA to negotiate long-term financing at the best rates for “capital improvements for its many water and wastewater systems serving fourteen municipalities” as stated in the bill.
LCA’s Executive Director Liesel Gross attended the meeting and reiterated her pledge to provide an annual report and offer to provide an annual public presentation to the board of commissioners. That commitment is spelled out in the provided Articles of Amendment to be sent the Pa. secretary of state.
In a final approval vote, commissioners finalized the lease of the Seed Farm (43 acres located at 5854 Vera Cruz Road in Upper and Lower Milford townships) to the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley.
CACLV Executive Director Alan Jennings attended the meeting.
“The premises are leased to CACLV for the purpose of operating and managing the functions of the Seed Farm, to create programs to introduce, train and develop farmers,” according to the terms of the lease.
Commissioners gave first reading approval to appoint Diana Scholl to the position of deputy clerk.
Erin Yasenchak, a partnership specialist for the Census Bureau ,encouraged everyone to get involved in the upcoming census, scheduled to begin April 1, 2020. She said undercounts in the county’s population result in losses of government grants back to the community.
In other business, members of the Lehigh County Youth Advisory Council were recognized for their contributions by citations from the county administration. The citations were presented to the high school students by Joshua Siegel, public information officer for the county.
The youth advisors receiving citations were Nicholas Saylor of Whitehall HS, Ga Young Lee of Parkland HS, Thomas Chakif and Zahi Awad, both of Dieruff HS.
The adjutant for Detachment 284 of the Bethlehem Marine Corps League, Douglas Graves, presented citations to two Lehigh County Commissioners, Amy Zanelli and Dan Hartzell, and two members of the administration, Phillips Armstrong and Joshua Siegel, recognizing their volunteer work supporting the Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots program at Allentown’s Salvation Army building in December.
Commissioners also approved the distribution of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) to several municipalities: Borough of Emmaus for curb cuts – $34,700; Borough of Fountain Hill for street reconstruction - $284,050; Borough of Macungie for curb cuts – $11,600; Borough of Slatington – $98,085; Salisbury Township for sanitary sever rehabilitation – $90,799; Whitehall Township for curb cuts – $113,400.
Organizations getting CDBG money: Catholic Charities for self sufficiency and intervention program – $29,700; Communities in Schools of the Lehigh Valley for career supports at Lehigh Career and Technical Institute – $25,000; Lehigh Carbon Community College Foundation for English as a Second Language (ESL) communication for success – $6,000; Lehigh Carbon Technical Institute for scholarships for Section 3 Residents – $19,500; Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living for housing location assistance to 20 households to avoid homelessness – $15,052; Meals on Wheels for meal preparation and delivery – $20,000; North Penn Legal Services for legal help – $10,000; The Literacy Center for ESL and Adult Basic Education – $15,000.