UPPER MILFORD TWP., Pa. -

The Open Space Referendum asking voters whether they would like to raise taxes in Upper Milford Township has been approved and will be on the ballot in November’s general election, township supervisors said Thursday evening.

The Lehigh County Board of Elections approved the ballot question Thursday Morning.

It will ask voters if they wish to raise the earned income tax at the rate of 0.1385 percent for “financing the acquisition, protection, conservation or preservation of undeveloped opens spaces or areas; forests and farmlands; natural and scenic resources; and recreational or historic lands.”

If voters decide in favor of the tax increase, it will be in effect for at least five years --  voters will then see another question on the ballot to extend or end the increase.

Issues surrounding the Open Space Referendum were raised by some residents.

One concern was whether the board could truly be neutral with language advertising the ballot question. Another resident questioned whether the tax increase was even necessary.

“It’s a much bigger problem than just looking at it from a tax standpoint,” said Board Supervisor Robert Sentner, alluding to the referendum’s goal of preserving land for locally grown food production.

Also, during the workshop session of the meeting, the board discussed the desire to bid on a used truck for the Public Works Department.

Supervisor Daniel DeLong championed the purchase of a truck noting how valuable the gear is especially when roads need to be cleared following storms.

“When the stuff hits the fan, the Public Works guys get out there and do their jobs,”  Delong said. ” They’re all praised as heroes. The only way they can do those jobs is because they have the equipment to do it.”

The board agreed to bid on a vehicle via a municipal auction site.