Lehigh County Government Center

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The Lehigh County commissioners have extended the state of emergency declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The extension made during their Wednesday night meeting is for 60 days and runs through Sept. 15.

County Executive Phillips Armstrong originally declared the state of emergency on March 16 and the legislative body approved it two days later for a period of 60 days. It was then extended for another 60 days through July 17.

"This is very much an administrative flexibility tool," Commissioner Dave Harrington said Wednesday night in describing what the emergency designation actually means.

He added that it held no sway over the state's various color-coded reopening designations for the general public or any public health directive.

"This allows us to continue the current flexibility we have," said Chairwoman Amy Zanelli.

In other votes, the commissioners waived the county's grant policy at the request of ProLogis.

The county serves as a pass-through for Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program funds from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and acts as a fiduciary agent for the transaction.

The commercial real estate company said in its request that "ProLogis is a billion-dollar corporation and does not wish to have financial information made public."

In other business, the commissioners approved the reappointment of Terri Nasatka to the Aging and Adult Services Advisory Council and Donna Jacobsen to the Drug and Alcohol Advisory Board. Nasatka's appointment runs through March 31, 2024, while Jacobsen's ends Dec. 31, 2022.

The board also OK'd two first-time appointments for Carolee Gifford and Jitesh Rohatgi: Gifford to the Mental Health/Intellectual Disabilities Board through the end of 2022, and Rohatgi to the Personnel Review Board through March 31, 2022.

Finally, Zanelli requested a moment of silence. The gesture was made out of respect for residents of Cedarbrook Nursing Home who have passed away during the pandemic and the July 4 death of John Donches of Emmaus, a frequent attendee of the commissioners meetings.

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