|TandM's Greg Duncan is Bethlehem|
Township's stormwater engineer.
Wednesday, September 07, 2016
Bethlehem Tp Hires Stormwater Engineer
On June 15, 2015, in the middle of a Bethlehem Township Commissioners' meeting, between four and five inches of rain fell over the course of just three hours. Entire sections of roadway were washed out as the Township ran out of barricades to warn passing motorists. The township spent $140,000 in emergency road repairs.
Manager Melissa Shafer fielded complaints from 37 different areas within the township. In addition, there were 15 sinkholes. "Impervious areas, lack of stormwater infrastructure in our older neighborhoods, undersized existing stormwater facilities and the shrinking capacity of Nancy Run Creek all contribute to the flooding issues," she later reported.
For years, raging stormwaters have been mentioned at nearly every meeting.
After last year's sudden downpour, Commissioners decided to make stormwater management their top priority. They teamed up with Freemansburg for a gaming grant to conduct a stormwater study. They visited Lancaster, which has a model stormwater management program. And at their September 6 meeting, they voted 4-0 to hire TandM Associates as their stormwater engineer.
TandM was the unanimous choice of a committee that reviewed proposals from five different engineering firms. As Shafer explained in a memo to Commissioners, T and M "not only brings experience and understanding of the sophisticated modeling necessary for the long term operations and maintenance of our system, but they have an unsurpassed local and regional knowledge and existing data already compiled on our watersheds. The Committee also felt that TandM rate structure and fee proposal was very competitive."
Greg Duncan, who is with TandM, will serve as the project manager. He will analyze the existing system, create a Stormwater Improvement Plan, develop a Stormwater Operation and Maintenance Plan and identify funding mechanisms to pay for the work.
In other business, Commissioners approved an ordinance establishing new boundary lines for its four wards. These changes will have no impact on this year's Presidential race and will only take effect next year. The new boundaries create four wards that range in population from 5800 to 6037.
They also voted to create an abandoned property register. According to Planning Director Nathan Jones, there are currently about 25 abandoned properties in the Township.
Finally, they enacted an ordinance to regulate cell tower companies that straddle public rights of way with minpoles to augment cell tower coverage.