BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

Township commissioners are taking the first steps toward some long-awaited repairs to the Monacacy spillway.

The board voted Monday night to authorize T&M Associates to begin engineering work on the spillway repair project. The spillway runs underground from Northampton Community College to Route 191.

The project -- estimated to cost roughly $300,000 -- is being paid for by state grant money, said Commissioner Thomas Nolan.

It will involve cleaning up the broken spillway, and adding a retention pond. Nolan said the township won't know how long the project will take until after the engineering work is complete.

"You can't just dig a hole and hope it works," he said.

Also Monday, the commissioners voted to make a number of purchases, including three new police vehicles for $27,548 a piece.