August 19, 2022

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Lehigh County capital plan for 2023-27 gets unanimous vote

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Lehigh County commissioners voted to prioritize investing in excess of $140 million on advancement tasks about the subsequent five a long time during a Wednesday meeting, a strategy that will likely occur with a foreseeable future tax hike.

The board voted unanimously for the motion with little dialogue.

The tasks are component of Lehigh County’s 2023-27 cash plan, a 5-year directional program. Although it includes quantities the projects are anticipated to value, it should not be perplexed with a spending plan, in which the county allocates dollars in a single-12 months paying out programs. On the other hand, these budgets could reflect the money system priorities, county Basic Products and services Director Rick Molchany said.

“I requested the section heads to search in advance, not just 5 years in advance, but to search way ahead so we can start out to foresee massive paying and funds preparing for you as you’re acquiring your tax strategies,” Molchany advised officials July 6.

Cedarbrook nursing dwelling in South Whitehall Township would be in line for $31 million much more of rehabilitation function below the paying out priorities. Also on the list are upgrades to the 911 communications procedure, farmland preservation and a lot more bridge repairs:

  • The prepare would update what is now an analog 911 radio process for the county to a totally digital one particular. The projected cost is $46 million. This transform would probably go into effect by 2025, if accredited.
  • The strategy dedicates $14.5 million to farmland preservation, assisting guard in opposition to ongoing warehouse improvement in the county. To date, just about 27,000 acres of Lehigh County farmland and 381 farms have been preserved. The county desires to protected 2,000 acres about the upcoming 5 several years.
  • County-owned bridges would acquire virtually $9 million in upkeep or small rehabilitation over the following several decades to continue to keep them open up.

To satisfy the requires of its projects, the county would likely need to have to increase taxes about each and every 10 many years, Molchany reported, however unknowns these kinds of as opportunity project delays make it tricky to establish when taxes could be elevated and by how considerably.

All through the initial looking through of the adoption July 13, Commissioner Jeffrey Dutt reported: “I believe these requirements that were being mentioned in the Funds Approach are very important, and I recognize the perform that we have to do [with the projects].”

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