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Councilman concerned about Weissport levee

New Weissport Borough Councilman Bill Hartzell recently went for a walk on the levee that runs along the Lehigh River, and says he noticed some issues that need to be addressed.

The first issue, he said, involves vehicles parking at Hofford’s Mill.

“At Hofford’s Mill, they have cones about 10 to 12 feet from the levee so that people will not park on it,” Hartzell said. “But, there are still trucks parked there with their back tires about a foot up on the levee.”

Another issue, he said, is on top of the levee.

“On the levee, from the railroad trestle to the end, there is a ditch forming there from bicycles and walking, about 12 to 16 inches wide, and 4 to 8 inches deep and getting deeper,” Hartzell said.

Regarding bicycles on the levee, a borough ordinance reads, “It should be unlawful for any person to operate any vehicle, which includes bicycles, on the levee.”

The borough has had issues in the past with damage done to the levee by ATV riders.

“It’s the borough’s responsibility to maintain the levee, to make sure it is protected so that it continues to perform its duty,” Borough Solicitor Gregory Mousseau said. “If you know that there is something occurring that may interfere with its safe operation, it’s incumbent upon the borough to stop it.”

The levee was built in 1934. Weissport took over the maintenance of the levee around 1960. The Army Corps of Engineers, which must help repair the levee if it has been damaged by weather, takes turns with the Department of Environmental Protection to do an annual inspection.

The levee was built in 1934 to protect the Borough of Weissport from flooding from the Lehigh River. JAMES LOGUE JR./SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS