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Amendment to garbage ordinance considered

Published July 14. 2010 05:00PM

Lower Towamensing Township may make an amendment to its garbage ordinance that pertains to the billing of unoccupied properties.

The township's board of supervisors on Tuesday said they would consider an amendment to the ordinance, which currently bills residents on empty properties.

Supervisors Chairman Ron Walbert said supervisors would consider the amendment to garbage bills for "uninhabited properties."

"We have to find a way to be sure the property isn't uninhabited," Walbert said. "My only concern is there has to be some way to make somebody accountable."

Walbert said the potential amendment to the ordinance would be sent to the township solicitor for review.

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.

Also on Tuesday, supervisors agreed to name township planning commission members Gerry Madden and Angela Farrel to a steering committee of the Palmerton Area Comprehensive Plan.

Roy Christman, a member of the Towamensing Township Planning Commission, asked supervisors to consider an implementation agreement as per 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 an implementation agreement as per the plan that would enable the municipalities to possibly apply for grants.

While both Palmerton and Bowmanstown rejected the idea, Christman said members of Towamensing and Lower Towamensing's steering committee will meet to further discuss the agreement.

Finally, Walbert addressed a concern by resident Herman Bollinger, who questioned why Walbert was the only supervisor to attend a ground-breaking ceremony last month by Great American Pellets.

Bollinger asked Walbert why the other two supervisors didn't attend, and inferred that they weren't made aware of the event.

But, Walbert took exception to Bollinger's assertion, and said supervisors always receive word of events in the township.

"Everybody gets a copy," Walbert said. "Before I came in, it used to be that nobody got e-mail."

Further, Walbert said it isn't his responsibility to see whether the other supervisors pick up their mail.

"If people don't check their mail, how is that my problem? "Don't ever say people aren't getting their mail."

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