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Heffley discusses redistricting, police coverage, blight

From redistricting, to police coverage, to infrastructure, Carbon County continues to be a hot spot for activity.

State Rep. Doyle Heffley discussed those topics and more at a recent Palmerton Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon held at Bert’s Steakhouse in Palmerton.

Heffley noted that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court previously ruled on the new congressional districts, which will take shape in the 2022 midterm elections.

As part of that, Heffley said that Carbon County has been moved into the 7th Congressional District with Lehigh and Northampton counties.

Polk and Eldred townships, along with part of Ross Township, also became part of the 7th District.

The 7th Congressional District has been held by Democrat Susan Wild since 2019.

Heffley also touched on several other points of conversation, including:

• Police coverage: Heffley discussed the possibility of expanding our local police departments into more communities. “We do not have enough police officers,” Heffley said.

• KME: He said there are opportunities with KME properties in Nesquehoning. “There is a lot of interest in these properties. I don’t know that we’re going to create 400 to 700 jobs.”

• Tourism: Heffley said that trains are running in Jim Thorpe, in fact, more trains than ever. “We’re really seeing that benefit in our area,” Heffley said.”

• Health care: With two new hospitals in Carbon County, St. Luke’s Carbon Campus in Franklin Township, and Lehigh Valley Hospital in Mahoning Township. “What a tremendous benefit to the residents here,” he said. “Now, you can get that treatment right here in Carbon County. I think competition is awesome. You have access to more services right here in Carbon County.”

• Road construction: Heffley discussed the work being done on routes 248 and 443, for which he added the work that’s being done “will be tremendous for the community.”

• Blight: He said that is an issue for every local municipality.

The next meeting of the Palmerton Area Chamber of Commerce will be April 13 at the Palmerton Area Library.

State Rep. Doyle Heffley addresses members of the Palmerton Area Chamber of Commerce during a recent luncheon at Bert's Steakhouse in Palmerton. TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS