Lehigh County will be holding a Household Hazardous Waste, (HHW) collection event on March 28th. This event is strictly for Lehigh County residential use only, no commercial entities will be admitted! The information for that event will be posted on the County website at www.lehighcounty.org over the next couple of days. As in the past, residents will be required to go to the County website and follow the mandatory pre-registration process in order to participate. The starting button will be located on the front page of the website. All pertinent information will be provided to the resident at that time. The website will reflect the date and location of the event and things such as, what materials are acceptable, and what materials are not acceptable. The resident will click on what they anticipate bringing in so that the contractor is prepared in advance. The resident will then be directed to print out their admission receipt once they complete the pre-registration process.
Note that the computer program will require them to input their address which will verify their residency for us. During the pre-registration process they’ll select an appointment time. Again, they’ll be prompted to print out an admission receipt to bring with them along with personal identification for admission to the event. They should show up on time, not early for the event. No unregistered attendees will be admitted. This is our way of ensuring that the event runs as smoothly as in the past, and that most important they are from Lehigh County. It is crucial to all that County taxpayer’s dollars are protected.
Volunteer fire companies across the country are noticing a decrease in community volunteers at an alarming rate while experiencing an increase in operating expenses and call volume. More than 90% of Pennsylvania’s nearly 2,400 fire departments are volunteer which save Pennsylvania taxpayers an estimated 10 BILLION Dollars each year! There were approximately 300,000 volunteer fire fighters in Pennsylvania in the 1970s compared to less than 38,000 today. Here in Weisenberg Township our dedicated volunteer firefighters are facing the same trend. As a result, the Weisenberg Township Board of Supervisors has decided to join a growing list of communities and establish a fire tax in order to provide stable financial assistance to the Weisenberg Volunteer Fire Department starting in 2020.
The Board of Supervisors recognizes the importance of supporting the Volunteer Fire Dept. They also recognize that the township’s expenses are increasing as well. The township has always been the fire department’s largest contributor and was able to provide financial support by diverting funds away from the public works equipment fund and contributing much of the transfer tax revenue received from the sale of the warehouses along I-78 for construction of the fire station and purchase of fire equipment. This is no longer feasible; with the industrial parks being nearly built out, additional revenue from the sale of the buildings has slowed. As is the case with fire department expenses, township road equipment and infrastructure maintenance costs continue to rise. Having a stable fire department funding source will allow the fire department to maintain its high level of emergency response service that our community has grown to expect. It also means that we can assure that our volunteers have the resources to keep them as safe as possible. The separate fire tax will allow the township to focus its tax revenues on road maintenance and equipment replacement as was originally intended.
A well trained and well equipped fire department has resulted in an improved ISO rating for our community which equates to lower insurance premiums for property owners.
The township will establish a .44 mil fire tax in order to decrease the burden placed on our volunteers and will allow them to focus more on training and serving the community. Approximately 1/3 of the tax revenue will be used to cover the majority of the department’s operating expenses as well as support the volunteer firefighter retention program. The remaining revenue will be put into a capital savings plan to support future apparatus purchases, equipment replacements / upgrades, station repairs, etc. The fire department’s supporting membership will continue to run various fundraisers such as hoagie sales and the department’s yearly fund drive which solicits tax deductible contributions. The department will also continue applying for state and federal grants in order to offset expenses.
The .44 mil fire tax will be included as a line item on your yearly local real-estate tax bill which is mailed every spring. The cost per property owner will vary depending on how much your property is assessed. The .44 mil rate = $44.00 per every $100,000.00 of assessed value.
-18 acre vacant farmland with a taxable assessed value of $14,800.00 = $6.51 Fire Tax
-A 2-3 bedroom home on 1 acre with a taxable assessed value of $175,000.00 = $77.00 Fire Tax
-A 4-5 bedroom home on 1 acre with a taxable assessed value of $290,000.00 = $127.60 Fire Tax
-A commercial business with a taxable assessed value of $1,250,000.00 = $550.00 Fire Tax
-A large commercial warehouse with a taxable assessed value of $44,766,400.00 = $19,697.22 Fire Tax
While this revenue will ensure that the volunteer fire department can purchase the necessary equipment and cover their operating expenses they still require community members to volunteer their time. Weisenberg Township has approximately 5,000 residents but only about 30 residents volunteer as fire fighters and about 20 volunteer as supporting members. Our community is very fortunate to have this many dedicated volunteers as many of our surrounding fire departments have much fewer. However, our volunteers have hectic jobs and various other commitments. Many also have children that are involved in multiple activities. The more volunteers that the fire department has, the easier it is for everyone. More community members that are willing to volunteer would decrease the workload of our current dedicated volunteers. Training is provided at no cost and there is no minimum required time commitment. All equipment is provided at no cost and various incentives are available. Junior fire fighters can join at age 14 and you’re never too old. There are many tasks to perform at a volunteer fire department including firefighting, community education, equipment and building maintenance, general housekeeping, fundraising, etc. As stated above, volunteers save Pennsylvania taxpayers approximately 10 BILLION Dollars each year! Please consider volunteering today.
For more information please contact Weisenberg Township at 610-285-6660 or visit weisenbergtownship.org or weisenbergfire.com
STOPPING FOR SCHOOL BUSES
With the school year in full swing we would like to remind motorist of the rules of bus stop safety.
When you see flashing YELLOW lights on a school bus this means slow down and be prepaired for the bus to stop for school student at a bus stop. When you meet or come upon a stopped school bus with RED flashing lights and arm extenedm YOU MUST STOP. You must stop at least 10 feet away from a school bus.
For more information and membership please click
Weisenberg Township is now in the Quarantine Area for Spotted Lanternfly. Attached is a map supplied to us from Lehigh County.
Would you like to learn more about this invasive insect?
*Why should you be concerned?
*What is the biology and life cycle?
*How does the quarantine order affect residents?
*What can you do to help?
For more information please click
For updated information please click
Lehigh County Conservation District has a supply of sticky tree bands available for residential use. LCCD also offers education training for community groups and homeowners. To learn more please contact LCCD @ 610-391-9583.