Lehigh Valley

Momentum to save Wehr's Dam flows in South Whitehall Twp.

SOUTH WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. - For the third consecutive meeting the South Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners heard from residents who believe Wehr's Dam in Covered Bridge Park has more intrinsic value than any plan to knock it down ever will.

"Removing the dam isn't going to make a helluva difference," said township resident William Wehr in relations to improving the environment. "When the Jordan River goes dry it has nothing to do with the dam."

Other residents argued the dam provides a scenic sanctuary that embraces the township's rich past that would be foolish to discard so casually.

"It's a historic structure," argued lifelong township resident Robert Schantz. "...It is unique."

Whatever their argument, the residents were united by one thing: Their opposition to a plan presented June 4th by the Wildlands Conservancy to expunge the dam, which according to comments made Wednesday night, is what is truly damning.

"Don't let Wildlands Conservancy talk you into tearing down this dam," said Wehr. "...The Wildlands Conservancy doesn't always know their things."

For the third straight meeting, commissioners heard from township resident Michael Molovinsky, who told commissioners he has obtained about 110 signatures to a petition to save the dam.

And Wehr didn't come empty-handed, adding he procured 190 signatures of his own to another petition.

In other business, during his report Howard Kutzler, director of administration, told commissioners the administration plans to meet with the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission regarding the Lehigh Valley Transportation Study and three projects of which the township is "watching."

Chief among them is the widening of Route 22 and its impact on the 15th Street exit and Mauch Chunk Road.

The Route 309 and Tilghman Street interchange project and the potential widening of Route 309 north of Walbert Avenue to North Whitehall Township were the other two projects of interest, according to Kutzler.

President Christina Morgan and Commissioner Glenn Block were absent from Wednesday night's meeting.

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