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Fogelsville dam fixes cost Upper Macungie $118K

By Tom De Martini, WFMZ.com Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 06 2014 10:12:18 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 07 2014 10:47:50 AM CST
Upper Macungie board of supervisors
UPPER MACUNGIE TWP., Pa. -

The Fogelsville Dam, which has been a thorn in the side of Upper Macungie Township in recent years, will finally be fixed this year.

The cost to the township for repairs to fix the dam in Lehigh County will weigh in at about $118,000, which is well short of the $2 million price tag that the Upper Macungie Board of Supervisors once feared.

Supervisors awarded bids for lowering the dam by six feet ($98,398) and for the restoration of Hassan Creek ($98,231) to Rutledge Excavating of Tyler Hill Thursday night.

The repair work was ordered by the state Department of Environmental Protection Agency to take Fogelsville Dam off its "high-hazard" list.

Breaching the 13 foot tall and 12 foot wide dam could have cost more than $2 million, because it supports part of Hassadahl Road.

The township obtained two state grants to help offset the costs of the repairs, but will still pay $48,000 for its portion of the dam lowering work and $70,000 for restoration work on Hassan Creek, according to township engineer Dean Haas.

The Fogelsville Dam, which sits along Hassadahl Road off Route 100 at Fogelsville Dam Park, was built in the early 1900s by the Portland Cement Co., who eventually turned it over to Lehigh County. The county gave the dam to Upper Macungie Township about 12 years ago.

Planned Dunkin' Donuts store will need rezoning nod

A Dunkin' Donuts franchise with a drive-through in the Weis Shopping Center on Route 100 and Glenlivet Drive will need supervisors and the township planning commission to sign off on re-zoning at least one lot.

Lawyers representing Jay King, Jr. of King's Real Estate Group in Harrisburg asked supervisors Thursday night for permission to petition the planning commission to examine changing the zoning of one or all of the lots in the Weis Shopping Center to highway commercial from neighborhood commercial.

A Dunkin' Donuts shop is not allowed in a neighborhood commercial zone.

"There's a lot of history with the zoning and re-zoning of these lots," said supervisor Sam Ashmar, who sits on the township planning board.

Supervisors passed a motion asking township solicitor Andrew Schantz to craft an ordinance to start the zoning procedure with the planning board.

Township manager search committee set

Five Upper Macungie residents were tapped Thursday to form a search committee for a township manager.

"For the past several months, we've talked about pursuing a township manager and we are naming these five people to start the search process," said Upper Macungie supervisor chairman Jim Brunell.

The search committee consists of former supervisor candidate and volunteer firefighter Joe Corcoran and township residents Phil DelVecchio, Charles Deprill, Chris Englebert and Karen Tamerler.

Earlier this year, supervisors hired the non-profit Meyner Center from Lafayette College in Easton to help them search for a township manager.

According to the 2010 Census, the population of the township is close to 21,000.

Community Services police officer resigns

Supervisors accepted the resignation of Upper Macungie Police Officer Pamela Mathias, who served as the department's Community Services Officer.

Mathias will leave the department in early April and has accepted a position with the Berks County District Attorney's Office, according to Upper Macungie Police Chief Edgardo Colon.

Colon said the department has a list of 15 qualified candidates to fill the open position with a starting salary of $58,000.

Colon said an officer from within the department will take over the Community Services role.

"We have a lot of community services initiatives in place and there are more to come," Colon said. "We'll have a current, existing officer fill that role as part of their duties."