Lehigh County Commissioners approve long-term spending plan


ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Lehigh County Commissioners approved the 2021 budget during its Wednesday night meeting. It contains no tax increase on property owners. The vote was unanimous.

Commissioners' approval also amended job classifications and pay plans for various county employees. A total of three amendments, added Oct. 14, were included.

"There's always going to be somebody that's not happy, and there's always going to be somebody that is happy," said Commissioner Marc Grammes. "I look at this budget as not an expense, but as an investment."

"We have a fantastic budget this year, even though everyone did not get what they want," said Commissioner David Harrington.

The motion Wednesday night also included the approval of three amendments. One involved a $1 million restricted fund balance allocation for farmland preservation. A second allocated personnel cuts to the jail, community corrections and juvenile probations departments and increases to the public defender's department and various grants. The third makes the day of June 19 as a county holiday and allocates $150,000 to pay employees to take the day off.

In other news, commissioners amended an ordinance revising the procedure for the disbursal of subgrant funds under the Lehigh County COVID-19 Relief plan for small businesses to make the payments to recipients more timely.

Finally, Wednesday night was the final meeting for Commissioner Nathan Brown, who thanked his colleagues and the public for the opportunity to serve. He tendered his resignation Oct. 20. His official final day is Oct. 30.

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