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Water drainage problem frustrates North Whitehall resident

By Tom De Martini, WFMZ.com Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 07 2014 11:43:42 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 08 2014 05:41:23 AM CDT
North Whitehall Supervisors
NORTH WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. -

 Shady Lane resident Dan Linchuk is frustrated with a nagging water drainage problem and his perceived lack of action by the North Whitehall Township Supervisors.

Linchuk says township supervisors are ignoring a water drainage problem at his property because they don't know how to solve it.

He addressed the board during Monday night's North Whitehall Board of Supervisors meeting in search of elusive answers.

Storm water draining from a neighbor's home sitting above Linchuk's is causing erosion on a hillside, which he says continually causes an "unsafe mess" of silt and mud on his property, making it impossible for his children to play safely outdoors.

Linchuk, who has owned the property for eight years, contends township officials continue to ignore the drainage problem and demanded action while verbally sparring with supervisors.

"They don't know what to do with the water," Linchuk said. "There's no way a homeowner can keep up maintaining that volume of water. It's been going on at this property for 38 years. How long is it going to go on, 50 or 60 years, until we see bare rock? I'm frustrated daily."

Supervisor Steve Pany said that it isn't the township's job to provide that type of maintenance. Pany and other supervisors did pass a motion to draft a letter to Linchuk's neighbor in an attempt to provide relief from the water drainage.

But Linchuk took exception after another easement discussion took place concerning the planned Brook Hill Road Estates development.

"That's all I'm asking for is an easement. Why can't I get an easement that is safely maintained by the township? " he asked.

Supervisor Steve Celmer said something should have been done by Linchuk a long time ago.

Pany said the township has been willing to, and would provide materials to help quell the drainage.

In other business, township manager Jeff Bartlett said that portable basketball backboards that are left in the right-of-way and cause damage to trucks and township vehicles will be removed.

"The sweepers catch them or they are hit by trucks and they cause damage," he said. "It's also not good to lay them on the sidewalk, because people trip over them in the dark."

Bartlett said a notice will be given after an initial violation and then the equipment will be taken by the township.

Bartlett noted that township residents are taking unfair advantage of the township's yard waste site by having contractors dump branches and stumps there.

"That's not the intended purpose and we're going to start clamping down," he said.

"When you hire a contractor, you pay for (private) removal and disposal costs."

Elsewhere, the Lehigh County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), which originated in Upper Macungie Township in 2008, gave a presentation and asked for North Whitehall residents to volunteer their time.

Free 24-hour CERT training courses are being held at the Fogelsville Volunteer Fire Station in April and May. Interested residents should call Tanya Hook at 610-782-4600 or at tanyahook@lehighcounty.org.

CERT has been instrumental in assisting first responders in such recent natural disasters as Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, the Oct. 2011 snowstorm and the 2011 Allentown natural gas explosion.

CERT team members also helped open and staff shelters for those without power during those disasters, in addition to helping neighbors during times of need.