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Township Council Requests Abolition of Gaming Authority

A motion to send a letter to Northampton County Council requesting the abolition of the Northampton County Gaming Revenue and Economic Redevelopment Authority was approved by Lower Saucon Township Council at its May 18 meeting.

Lower Saucon Township Council members agreed at their May 18 meeting to write a letter to Northampton County Council requesting that the Northampton County Gaming Revenue and Economic Redevelopment Authority be abolished.

Council Vice President Tom Maxfield made the motion to write the letter and to suggest substituting the gaming authority “with something workable.”

The motion passed 3-0, with Sandra Yerger absent and Priscilla deLeon abstaining.

“(There) doesn’t seem to be any clear rhyme or reason (with the application process),” said Council President Glenn Kern in regards to the gaming authority. “It’s difficult to submit applications and there is no clarity in their responses.”

DeLeon, who currently serves on the nine-member gaming authority, declined to comment.

Earlier this year, the gaming authority received 46 applications from county municipalities vying for more than $700,000 in uncommitted grant money drawn from casino revenues.

In February, after several municipal officials requested information about how their applications for uncommitted fund grants had been scored, . .

Lower Saucon Township had applied--either jointly or solely--for uncommitted funds grants for the following projects:

  • Route 412/Polk Valley Road traffic signal (jointly with Hellertown)
  • New fire vehicle equipment (jointly with Hellertown)
  • New public works vehicle
  • Flint Hill Road stabilization
  • Saucon Rail Trail expenses (jointly with Hellertown)
  • Fire vehicle spill trailer
  • New police vehicles
  • Compost center equipment (jointly with Hellertown)

On May 25, the gaming authority announced that $10,492.50 has been awarded to Hellertown and Lower Saucon for rail trail expenses; $20,035 has been awarded to Hellertown and Lower Saucon for a Dewey Ambulance Life Stat; and $35,885.50 has been awarded to Hellertown and Lower Saucon for a Dewey Ambulance LifePac upgrade.

Additionally, it announced that Lower Saucon has been awarded $30,000 for a new police vehicle and $5,000 for a spill response trailer.

In total, the authority said, more than $712,000 has been awarded to seven municipalities and Northampton County Emergency Management as a result of the disbursal of uncommitted funds.

In other business at the meeting, a draft design of mile markers to be installed along was announced.

The markers will include a logo and mile or half-mile designations underneath the logo.

Lower Saucon Township Manager Jack Cahalan said the township hopes to have the markers installed as soon as possible, due to safety concerns.

The markers will assist emergency workers and first responders by allowing them to more quickly pinpoint the location of people along the trail, in case of an emergency.

Stephanie Brown May 27, 2011 at 03:17 PM
Leave it to Lower Saucon Township to bite the hand that feeds it. The origianl purpose of the gaming authority was to distribute funds from gaming revenue to towns and cities impacted from the casino by the casino. So getting money for the rail trail is out of the scope of the authority. Foa a township that opposed the casino, they sure aked for a lot money for projects that they should have been able to cover at the project's inception. The traffic light at 412 and Polk Valley Raod has been needed for years and has nothing to do with increased casino traffice on 412, but rather the poor placement of all schools at the school district campus. The impact of the casino is minimal on the township. The biggest complaint from township offcials is some bus traffic on township roads. The Eagles trainning camp has more of a negative impact on the township than the caino.

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