Lehigh Valley

Lehigh County forwards regional 9-1-1 Contract

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Saying it was long overdue, Lehigh County Commissioners moved one step closer to approving a contract with a company to provide 9-1-1 management services.

The decision Wednesday night on the bill's first reading would hire Essential Management Services, LLC at a cost of $180,000.

"It's about time we got this moving down the road," said Commissioner Percy Dougherty prior to the approval.

"This is long overdue," added Commissioner David Jones. "This is a great step ... ultimately beneficial to the region."

Should the agreement receive final approval, Essential Management Services would work with the county's administration and emergency management agency.

In other business, commissioners forwarded a bill on first reading that would approve a deed of easement and right-of-way with Allentown and the Rotary Club of Allentown. The city and the rotary entered into an agreement for the construction of a Rotary Fountain on a 20-foot by 22-foot space on the city's plaza. The rotary will then dedicate the fountain to the city of Allentown, which will then assume responsibility for the fountain.

The Rotary Fountain would be located on the southeast corner of Center Square at Seventh and Hamilton streets.

Some commissioners were concerned about potential maintenance issues and its location.

"I'm not sure this is the proper place," said Dougherty.  He added more information was needed prior to the bill's second reading.

Commissioner Michael Schware agreed and noted concerns about maintenance of the fountain "were valid."

The city would agree to maintain or provide maintenance of the fountain so "that it remains in good condition at all times both before and after its dedication to the city," according to the terms of the agreement.

Members of the Allentown Rotary are permitted, but not required, to provide at their own expense, periodic light maintenance and cleaning of the fountain. The rotary will design, plan and install the fountain. In addition, after its dedication, the city would be responsible for, and would pay the costs of the utility connections for water and electric to the fountain.

Jones said the concerns about the project were unfounded.

"The rotary is not going to let this go to pot," Jones said. He added it was not feasible for the county to deny responsibility for the fountain.

Commissioner Geoff Brace concurred with Jones.

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