Lehigh Valley

South Whitehall Commissioners further process of dissolving authority

SOUTH WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. - The South Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners took the first step toward assuming full responsibility over the township’s water and sanitary sewer systems at its June 7 meeting.

The board approved 4-0 a resolution establishing what duties it will start performing and which ones will be handled by the board of authority within the South Whitehall Township Authority.

The Board passed an ordinance on May 3 stating its goal of dissolving the township authority and transferring all of its assets and duties to the township.

The process is expected to take a few months.

The resolution is the first of many that will be discussed in upcoming meetings, Township Solicitor Joseph Zator said.

Under the resolution, the board of authority will be responsible for handling payroll disbursements and disbursements for payment of accounts payable and invoices for work done on the sanitary and sewer systems.

The board of authority will be in charge of monitoring ongoing litigation, arbitration and negotiations, but will not be able to initiate new ones. The authority would need to consult the board of commissioners before taking action on existing litigation, arbitration and negotiations.

A host of duties under the resolution will “fall squarely within the laps” of the board of commissioners, Zator said.

The board will now take action on bids for work, contracts and agreements, and appeals regarding the water and sewer systems. It would approve reports and submissions involving the water and sewer systems to state and federal agencies.

Proposed land developments that have an affect on the water and sewer systems will also be under the board’s jurisdiction.

Once the township authority is dissolved, all of the responsibilities the resolution gives the Board of Authority will be transferred to the board of commissioners.

In other business, the board voted 4-0 to appoint Renee Bickel as township manager. She had been serving as interim township manager since February.

Board President Christina Morgan praised Bickel’s work over the last few months.

Board vice-president Glenn Block was absent. 

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