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Agreement on composting facility approved in South Whitehall Twp.

Published On: Dec 04 2013 11:04:41 PM EST

The South Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners voted to approve a motion that reaches an agreement involving a composting facility during Wednesday night's meeting.

The motion resulted from an enforcement action filed by the township in the Lehigh County Court against three-affiliated Haines and Kibblehouse Inc. companies in August. The board wants H & K  to stop a composting business being conducted at 4359 Huckleberry Road. The board alleged that  it never permitted the company to conduct a composting business of that nature within the township. Part of the enforcement action involves a zoning proceeding which has been concluded at the zoning hearing board level.

The court ruled in favor of South Whitehall Township, according to township Solicitor Joesph Zator.

"I'm anticipating that H & K will likely appeal that to Common Pleas Court," Zator said during Wednesday night's meeting.

Separate and apart from that issue, Zator noted, the township also instituted an action under the township's subdivision and land development regulations. The idea behind that action, was to gain an injunction to stop the current use of the biocomposting facility on the site. 

The agreement approved Wednesday night by commissioners terminated the subdivision and land development portion of the suit in return for H & K's curtailment of the importation of biodegradable materials while their challenge to the zoning decision is under review.

"They would be allowed to compost what is already on site which should conclude about February," Zator said.

In other business, commissioners adopted a resolution to establish municipal solid waste collection charges for 2014 by a 4-0 vote. The contract is with the township's current carrier, J.P. Mascaro, and residents will see a reduction in their annual bills from $344 to $280, according to township Manager Jon Hammer.

In other news, Howard Kutzler, the township's director of administration, said there are three individuals interested in serving on the board to ascertain the township's inventory of historic buildings. He added there will be an additional update on the progress of that board later this month.

In addition, the township will place legal advertisements to change the start times for commissioners' meetings from the current 7:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. starting in 2014.

Commissioner Dale Daubert was absent from Wednesday night's meeting.