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Bethlehem proposes expansion of Hanover Township recycling plant to supervisors

By Tom De Martini, WFMZ.com Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 17 2013 09:14:46 PM CST
Hanover Township meeting
HANOVER TWP., Pa -

The City of Bethlehem is proposing a minimum 10,000 square foot expansion of its existing recycling plant in Hanover Township, Northampton County.

City officials hope the plant will be completed and functioning by next spring. 

Joseph Kelly, director of Community and Economic Development for the City of Bethlehem, told the Hanover Township Board of Supervisors Tuesday night that a material recovery facility will be added to the existing recycling center located at Schoenersville Road and Eaton Avenue. 

Kelly said the city is receiving a $10 million investment from Cougel's Recycling Inc. of Hamburg for an initial two-phase addition to the facility of between 10,000 to 15,000 square feet.

A third and fourth phase that could tack on another 15,000 square feet of space, could occur in another three years.

Currently, Hanover Township does not process its recyclables at the facility, but certainly could in the future, Kelly said.

Township Solicitor Jim Broughal requested that the board of supervisors examine a site plan before any construction takes place.

"We'd like to know what you're doing and possibly become part of that facility," Broughal said.

"We're concerned about this becoming a regional facility, apart from just Bethlehem and Hanover. Beyond that, we want you to come back to us for approval."

Supervisor, Steve Salvesen, said that township roads aren't equipped for the influx of trucks that a regional facility would attract.

In other business, the board of supervisors approved the township's $7.481 million 2014 general fund budget, which translates into $247,000, or 3.4 percent, increase over 2013.

Township residents will again avoid a real estate tax increase for the seventh consecutive year.

The township's millage rate stands at 3.90 mills, where it has been since 2008. A total of 3.40 mills is earmarked for the township's general fund with 0.5 mills pegged for the fire department.

A township homeowner with a property appraised at $100,000 will continue to pay $390 in real estate taxes.

Elsewhere, Township Manager John Finnigan said recent winter weather has pushed back completion of the current storm sewer project that has closed part of Jacksonville Road.

Finnigan said the project had a targeted completion date of Dec. 20, but he now hopes the road can be opened again before the end of January.