Muhlenberg to sell municipal building to township authority

MUHLENBERG TWP., Pa. - After much consideration and discussion, Muhlenberg Township Commissioners unanimously voted to sell the municipal building located at 5401 Leesport Ave., to the Muhlenberg Twp. Authority.

Michael Malinowski, president of the Muhlenberg Board of Commissioners, said the new building was purchased for the convenience of the residents so they can have a "one-stop shop" for answers to questions and township business.

Additionally, Malonowski explained that representatives at Muhlenberg Township Water Authority said they believe the purchase is an asset.

He added that the building purchase will not impact water rates, an explanation that was meant to ease community concerns, since the Muhlenberg Twp. Authority which is taking over the building, is tied to the Muhlenberg Twp. Water Authority.

Also, on another matter, an additional change order to the tune of $5000 was approved for the 210 George Street project, with Commissioner John Imhoff being the sole "no" vote.

"I think we have all the change orders we should have. If we keep getting these change orders, we're going to end up over budget," said Imhoff.

Upon further explanation by Jamal Abodalo, director of engineering and codes, the commissioners ultimately decided the additional $5,000 for the project was necessary.

Abodalo also fielded multiple questions from concerned residents regarding road maintenance, township cleanliness, codes for grass length and winter upkeep of sidewalks.

One of the concerns acknowledged by Commissioner Imhoff was the lack of equipment and staff in proportion to the large area to cover.

"In defense of the township, we have one man and one street sweeper doing 70 miles of the roads," said Imhoff.

To help ensure all residents within the township are following codes, the board unanimously approved advertising for one code officer staff to fill the new position that has been created.

Several residents also expressed concerns about strengthening communication between township residents and the authorities, saying there is no official single place to receive information, such as a Facebook page. 

Commissioner Paul Concordia tendered his resignation as a result of a job offer that does not allow him to hold public office, but thanked the board for the experience.

The form to seek nominations to fill his position will be available on the township's website on May 20, and deadline for residents to apply or propose nominees is May 31.

Malinowski said that a decision will be reached by the June 16 meeting and that the board's goal is to make the process a seamless one.

Thursday night's meeting was preceded by a moment of reflection for the passing of Tyler Kulp, an employee of the Parks and Recreation Department, who worked as summer playground staff since 2008.

The next Muhlenberg Commissioners meeting will be held on June 16 at 7 p.m.

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