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Board works on amendment to garbage ordinance

Published August 12. 2010 05:00PM

Lower Towamensing Township continues to hone in on an amendment to its garbage ordinance.

On Tuesday, the township's board of supervisors tabled a matter that would determine how much time residents should be given to pay their garbage bills on unoccupied properties.

Resident Don Griffin questioned the status of the township's garbage ordinance, which currently bills residents on empty properties.

Township solicitor Jim Nanovic recommended that a time frame of some sort be established in order for the amendment to take shape. Currently, the ordinance bills residents on empty properties.

"It ought to be that you have a property vacant for some point in time," Nanovic said. "At least there should be some period of time that it is unoccupied."

Supervisor Todd Solt agreed with Nanovic's assessment.

"We should add a time frame, definitely," Solt said. "I'm fine with the language, except for the time frame."

A motion by supervisors Chairman Ron Walbert to grant a six-month waiting period was defeated due to a lack of a second.

Last month, supervisors said they may make an amendment to the ordinance that pertains to the billing of unoccupied properties.

In March, supervisors agreed to hold residents who are delinquent on their garbage bills accountable by billing them for garbage rates on empty properties.

Supervisors agreed that township residents who owed $500 or more on their garbage rates would be sent to the district magistrate.

At that time, Walbert said the township was owed $31,408 in delinquency bills, and that out of 63 residents who were delinquent on their garbage bills, 18 owed $500 or more.

Before their regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, supervisors met to further discussion on a potential implementation agreement as part of the Palmerton Area Comprehensive Plan.

Also on hand for the meeting were members of both the Lower Towamensing and Towamensing Township planning commissions, as well as the Towamensing Township board of supervisors.

Roy Christman, a member of the Towamensing Township Planning Commission, asked Lower Towamensing supervisors to consider the agreement as per the plan.

"We do not have to rewrite anything in our comprehensive plan if we want to have an implementation agreement between Towamensing and Lower Towamensing Township," Christman said. "It's just an opportunity to discuss issues that have a regional significance."

Christman said it was his recommendation to draft another implementation agreement, to which Walbert said he had no problem with.

At that, Lower Towamensing supervisors, as well as Towamensing Township supervisors, agreed to move forward with the agreement.

Last month, Lower Towamensing agreed to name township planning commission members Gerry Madden and Angela Farrel to a steering committee of the plan.

Christman said that in March 2009, the comprehensive plan was approved for Palmerton, Bowmanstown, Towamensing Township and Lower Towamensing Township.

Since then, Christman said he's pitched the idea for the agreement as per the plan that would enable the municipalities to possibly apply for grants. Both Palmerton and Bowmanstown have rejected the idea.

In other business, supervisors:

- Agreed to have township employee Kathy Wallace research a federal program for the eventual purchase of 10 new tires for its Peterbuilt and two tires for its 2001 Chevy dump truck. Also as part of the motion, Wallace is to find the lowest price on Goodyear, Michelin, or Goodyear XM tires, which would be paid from out of the township's liquid fuels account.

- Tabled a motion to purchase a back up system for the township's computer system.

- Approved a 90-day extension for the Paul Berger plans.

- Granted the Aquashicola Fire Company permission to attend an upcoming parade in Jim Thorpe.

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