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At Monday’s meeting, the North Lebanon Township Board of Supervisors agreed to push back several paving projects until next year due to this year’s high bids.

Paving projects

The township had initially planned to pave Alpha, Beta, Cappa, and Sholly avenues this summer, alongside a project to expand the Lenni Lenape Park parking lot.

However, with the lowest bid for these projects coming in at $398,963, much more than the budgeted $301,240, the board unanimously agreed to postpone all paving projects except the parking lot until next year.

“I somewhat knew, when the oil prices started going through the roof, that we were going to be impacted with our paving project,” explained chairman Ed Brensinger. “Never did I think it was going to be so large an amount.

“In my 20 plus years of doing the paving budget, it’s never been over before what my projected estimate was, at all. This year, it just blew my estimate out of the water.”

Brensinger noted that while he believes the roads need work, they are not in dangerous condition. This sentiment was echoed by vice chairman Gary Heisey at last month’s meeting.

Read more: North Lebanon Township places restrictions on new solar & wind farms

The board did, however, award the paving bid for the Lenni Lenape parking lot to low bidder Pennsy for $62,460.77. The township is pursuing grant reimbursement for the project, which does not come out of liquid fuels funds.

The liquid fuels funds not spent this year will carry over into next year’s budget. The board plans to pave the above listed roads next year alongside the previously planned paving projects for next summer: Oak, Maple, Willow, Sycamore, and Parkway.

Because these streets are in close proximity, Brensinger explained, the board hopes to be able to save money on the project overall. They anticipate bids to be lower next year.

While the scratch project planned for Horizon Boulevard was also postponed, the board agreed to devote resources in-house to temporarily improve the road.

Meeting room IT upgrade

The board unanimously approved a proposal to purchase audio and video presentation equipment for the meeting room totaling $9,110, in addition to a $1,900 desktop computer.

The meeting room hosts both public meetings — such as supervisors, planning commission, municipal authority, and parks and recreation — and internal use.

Brensinger noted that, due to COVID-19, far more meetings are held with video conferencing, and he does not expect this to change as the pandemic subsides.

The equipment will be provided by SDK Electronics and the desktop computer by IntermixIT. Costs will be taken from ARPA funds.

Other business

In other business, the board:

  • Unanimously agreed to waive usual township fees for the Girls on the Run Practice 5K at Lenni Lenape Park May 4 from 4 to 6 p.m.
  • Unanimously approved the Timothy & Brenda Jones Subdivision Plan for 2101 Water St., contingent on approval from NLTMA.
  • Tabled until further investigation a proposal to clear debris build-up in the police department’s HVAC ductwork from Tim Knight’s old office to the squad room. The recommended proposal cost $5,260, which members of the board were unsure whether was a reasonable price and opted to research it further.
  • Unanimously agreed to repair the superstructure of Halfway Drive Bridge for around $100,000 rather than replace it for around $300,000.
  • Unanimously approved minutes for the March 21 meeting (PDF).
  • Unanimously agreed to extend the temporary classroom agreement with New Covenant Christian School until August 2024.
  • Unanimously agreed to authorize township manager Cheri Grumbine to testify at an upcoming meeting of the zoning hearing board regarding 1808 Lake Drive.
  • Discussed the practice of township-issued vehicles being taken home by some employees and the possibility of ending this practice. They opted to table the discussion until police Chief Tim Knight could be present, as he was unable to attend Monday’s meeting.

North Lebanon supervisors meet at the township municipal building the third Monday of each month at 7 p.m. The next meeting will be held May 16. The meetings are open to the public and do not require prior registration.

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Emily Bixler was born and raised in Lebanon and now reports on local government. In her free time, she enjoys playing piano and going for hikes.