|Unlikely, but possible|
In March, Carroll Engineering was hired to research the possible impact of the PennEast Pipeline. That's a high pressure, 114-mile long proposed natural gas pipeline, which will extend from Wilkes-Barre, Pa. to Trenton, N.J. A formal application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is imminent. Carroll's study is being sent back to the drawing board.
Broughal complained that Carroll needs to do more than point our risks with which the Township is already familiar, like sinkholes. He also wants to know how to ameliorate them. "They ought to give you some idea on how to mitigate risks," agreed Township Engineer Brian Dillman.
"The pipeline is going to go through some clearly populated areas," Broughal said, right after bluntly noting that the blast area of a possible explosion would extend 900' along either side of the pipeline.
That's one way to solve the development and storm water problem in Bethlehem Township.
In other business, Officer Troy Abelovsky was appointed Corporal in the Police Department. He's a 14-year veteran who was among the three highest who tested for the job. But he was not the highest. Chief Dan Pancoast recommended his appointment anyway because of his longevity and the "support of supervising officers." But Pancoast was absent from the meeting. "That makes me feel uneasy," said Hudak. "I would have liked to have had a reason from the Chief."
To Tom Nolan, it made no difference because "all three candidates can perform the job." Nolan, along with Marty Zawarski, Phil Bernard and Pat Breslin, voted to appoint Abelovsky. Hudak was the lone dissenter.
Commissioners also voted unanimously to approve a formal subdivision of the Central Moravian Church at Nazareth Pike and Christian Springs Road. This opens up two tracts to the Natural Lands Trust for recreational purposes. It provides a spiritual retreat center for the Church. Last, but not least, it provides for a much-desired easement providing access to Housenick Park, which is adjacent to the Natural Lands Trust. These were all once part of Camel's Hump Farm, which was established by Bethlehem's first Mayor, Archibald Johnston.
In a busy but brief meeting, Commissioners also voted 4-0, with Hudak abstaining, to adopt an ordinance classifying bamboo as noxious vegetation subject to restrictions. They also authorized manager Melissa Shafer to use EMEX, an online auction site, for the purchase of electricity and natural gas. Shafer told Commissioners she can save them some money. Finally, they voted to hire ENITECH Engineering for architectural and engineering services related to the Community Center.