Inside Your Town

North Whitehall Supervisors hear complaints, offer little help

IRONTON, Pa. - The North Whitehall Township Board of Supervisors Monday evening heard multiple requests from township property owners ranging from reducing speeding in specific locations, to unkempt vacant properties, to noise pollution.

The supervisors admitted their hands were tied when it came to offering immediate solutions to the problems voiced.

The supervisors heard a request from Redwood Avenue residents in the township for a 'watch children' sign in an effort to reduce speeding in the neighborhood.

The board, however, took no action and tabled the request for a future meeting because they felt they needed additional time in order to fully investigate the matter.

Township Manager Jeff Bartlett said a 'watch children' sign on Redwood Drive would prove fruitless in the long term because residents would eventually ignore it.

He suggested a more "grass roots" approach to the speeding problem whereby neighbors inform each other of their safety concerns and agree amongst themselves to observe the 25 mph residential speed limit in the area.

The supervisors also heard a request to having a warning traffic light installed at the intersection of Levans and Mauch Chunk roads outside the Ironton Elementary School.

The residents claim speeding at the intersection is a danger to nearby students.

However, Bartlett said the school district has never contacted the township about any speeding concerns at the intersection or in the nearby area.

The supervisors explained to residents the intersection of Mauch Chunk and Levans roads is a state-maintained highway and any request for an additional blinking traffic light would have to made to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).

Residents also complained about unkempt properties at various township locations where excessive weed growth has become both a nuisance to neighbors and passersby.

Supervisors Rich Celmer and Steve Pany said if property owners neglect their upkeep obligations in excess, the township will be forced to have public works employees remove severely overgrown weeds.

In turn, property owners will have to pay North Whitehall for the work performed or have a tax lien placed on their property.

Finally, the supervisors heard complaints from residents about fireworks exploding in residential neighborhoods after 10 p.m.

Bartlett responded that whether North Whitehall has a multi-officer police force or use the PA State Police as it does currently, officers will not respond to noise complaints.             

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