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Brazen coyotes roam freely in parts of Whitehall Township

Brazen coyotes roam freely in parts of Whitehall

WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. - If you're old enough to remember the Looney Tunes cartoon series, then you know that Wile E. Coyote's elaborate schemes to commandeer the Road Runner are forever destined to backfire.

But for residents who live in the northern tier of Whitehall Township in Lehigh County, coyotes are no laughing matter.

Mayor Edward Hozza Jr. at Monday night's board of commissioners meeting, warned residents to be on the lookout for the wild critters who have become more forthcoming in their travels around the township.

"I'm urging all residents to be mindful about their pets and children outside," Hozza said about reports of coyotes from residents.

In one example cited Monday night, Hozza noted one coyote standing right outside a residential home eyeing up the family pets with less than honorable intentions.

"Perhaps thinking about making them dinner," Hozza said.

Hozza added that the coyotes often hide out in cornfields around the township and reminded residents the critters are potentially dangerous.

In other business Monday night, Hozza said he was "grateful" for the arrival last week of more than $105,000 in long-awaited grant money from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Department of the Interior National Parks Service for the Mickley/Prydun Farm acquisition.

The township acquired the property in March 2013 under the auspice of preserving the land as open space from developers.

The property has historic value, featuring a two-story home built by Christian Mickley during the 1700s that later proved instrumental in saving the Liberty Bell from British soldiers and a double-brick construction colonial home build in 1836 by Mickley's son, Peter, in 1836.

The township plans to follow the lead of the Whitehall Township Historical Society in preserving the homes by utilizing volunteers and public works department employees to restore both homes.

"When fully restored, it will be the jewel of the township," Hozza said Monday night.

During his report, Hozza said he will meet with Pennsylvania Department of Transportation officials the first week of August regarding several township roadway priorities.

The mayor noted he received a phone call on July 8th after a PennDOT official read a news article on the commissioners' workshop meeting the night previous that included comments made by Vice President Phillip Ginder.

In his comments Ginder pulled no punches in questioning the department's honesty and integrity as it related to interacting with township officials and residents on various highway projects.

The topics of discussion with PennDOT will include the Fifth Street Bridge, Third and Grape streets and Mickley and MacArthur roads, according to Hozza.

Also, commissioners established August 4th as the date for a public hearing concerning the potential creation of a new City Revitalization Improvement Zone authority for the township which will take place prior to their regularly scheduled workshop meeting.

President Linda Snyder was absent from Monday night's meeting.

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