PennDOT needs a temporary easement to perform construction work on Lehigh Canal property so Supervisor Bruce Steigerwalt, acting in his appointed position as a representative for Mahoning Township on the Lehigh Canal Commission, presented to his fellow supervisors details about the proposal. The supervisors unanimously agreed to approve the easement and donate the funds to the Lehigh Canal Commission.
"They are offering $1,000 to the property owners in exchange for the easement from Bridge Street to Route 209," Steigerwalt told his fellow supervisors. "That's about $166.67 per owner when divided six ways," he said which caused the supervisors to grin.
The purpose for the easement he said is to enable PennDOT access to the piers under the bridge. In order to obtain the easement, the six municipalities who jointly own the property must agree to the easement. The involved owners include Mahoning Township, Weissport, Franklin Township, Parryville, Lehighton and East Penn Township.
Steigerwalt said if the owners agree to the easement, he would recommend the board donate the township's share back to the commission for maintenance.
Supervisor Frank Ruch asked how the other municipalities felt about the arrangement. Steigerwalt said he believed Franklin Township was okay with the deal, but East Penn Township currently had questions about the easement. They were curious about the length of time and the specifics of the deal.
Steigerwalt said he asked the officials if they would put a trail mix on the canal trail when they finished their work. He also mentioned since heavy equipment was going to be in the location, they will need to post the notices about the construction.
Chairperson John Wieczorek asked how they arrived at the $1,000 fee, and Steigerwalt said it was from the appraisal of the property.