Garbage fees, taxes remain same for 2011
Towamensing Township supervisors announced that both taxes and the garbage collection fee will remain the same for 2011.
They include a two-mill real estate tax, one-half of 1 percent earned income tax, $10 occupational privilege tax, $10 local services tax and $5 per capita tax.
Garbage rates are $150 for a family, $100 for two seniors and $80 for a single senior.
Planning commission member Guy Seifert provided information about the development of steep slopes with a newspaper article about Lehigh Township. He asked if expanding the scope of commercial garbage pickup to areas outside the township would be feasible.
Supervisors said they have discussed it.
Resident Vickie Kistler asked if "bus stop ahead" signs could be placed on Route 209 near James Lane and Palm Drive, after observing cars speed past buses that have the red lights blinking.
Roadmaster Rodney George said the signs are ready to be installed.
Kistler said state police have been alerted about cars not stopping.
Joe Oliver and Emily James are planning to lease Jack Rivers Steakhouse. The septic system is not working. They asked if they can use the present 3,000 gallon tanks as holding tanks.
Supervisor Penny Kleintop asked if they realized how often the tanks would have to be pumped. Oliver said he was told it would be twice a month.
Robert Beers, who was in the audience, asked if the township had a holding tank ordinance. He did not think they could be used without an ordinance. Beers thought holding tanks would not be "economically feasible."
Solicitor Tom Nanovic said an ordinance could be passed and that the sewage enforcement officer, Sean Corey, should know if one is required.
Kleintop said an escrow account would have to be set up to ensure proper care. She thought the owner should consider replacing the septic system if a suitable drain field can be found.
Resident Joe Feraldo said the windows of a Trachsville house that burned had not been boarded up and that people are entering the home.
Beers said some townships have an "attractive nuisance" ordinance. Insurance money should go to the township to ensure cleanup.
Kleintop said the township already retains some insurance money.
Nanovic said a property maintenance ordinance is needed.
A waiver of five-foot contours in favor of 20-foot ones was approved along with the necessity of adding the entire property boundary for the Hall subdivision. Then the subdivision was approved.
New garbage bills and the newsletter will be mailed the beginning of January.
George Karas, chairman of the zoning hearing board, said a reorganization meeting had been held prior to the supervisors' meeting. Present were Karas, Joe Feraldo, Don Bonett and Curt Beers. Beers' term will expire Dec. 31. It was voted to retain him for another term. Supervisor Tom Newman thanked the zoners for serving.
In other business:
• The year-end meeting was scheduled for Dec. 27, 3 p.m. and the reorganizational meeting for Jan. 3, 5 p.m. It will be followed by the regular supervisors' meeting.
• With the resignation of Jennie Cheng, a planning-solicitor position will be advertised.
• Jacob Troost resigned his post as building code official.
• Newman reminded people that there were forms to fill out and file with the director of 911 for homes where a disabled person or one using oxygen lives. They are for use in emergencies only.
• Kleintop said daytime breakins have been reported and residents should keep an eye on neighbors' properties.
• Letters of thanks for donations were received from the Palmerton Area Library Asociation, The Friends of Animals and Blue Mountain Health Care System for a donation to home health care.