Apr 25, 2017

Questionable Integrity of South Whitehall Township

The new edition of the South Whitehall Township magazine, in addition to updating residents on new programs and regulations, features the park system. Among the many park programs offered this summer, in addition to movies and concerts, are special children's nature programs, outsourced to The Wildlands Conservancy. Though many of these activities are scheduled in Covered Bridge Park, there is not one mention of Wehr's Dam.   Understand, that this past November voters passed the Wehr's Dam Referendum. In doing so, they agreed to a possible tax increase to keep their beloved dam. It is almost unheard of that voters pass a referendum which could increase their taxes. This referendum was put on the ballot by the South Whitehall Commissioners to enable the Wildlands Conservancy to demolish the dam. with no political consequence to the commissioners. So,  after having a devious referendum which backfired on the township and Conservancy, there is no mention of the dam in the summer magazine?

The township is now conspiring with the Wildlands Conservancy to have Harrisburg condemn the dam, despite the referendum. I have secured letters between the Conservancy, Harrisburg and the township, questioning the dam's structural integrity. The integrity that should be questioned is that of the township.


Dave said...

It's quite clear that if the Whitehall Board of Commissioners wants something, it will get something. The voters be damned.

The real issue besides the arrogance of the commissioners is the motive behind their actions. One would believe that the fate of a century-old concrete dam is not normally something that they would raise their eyebrows over. There is a motivation force, and it's not just pressure from a special interest group. Clearly there is a financial gain or other reward behind these surreptitious actions.

Find that motive and the money trail and you'll discover the reason for the arrogance of the Commissioners.

michael molovinsky said...

dave@4:39, although the Wildlands Conservancy is allowed to keep 15% of the dam demolition grants as a administrative fee, i believe that the motivation is philosophical. they believe that dams are harmful to stream health, and other specific factors be damned. in this case the other factors are beauty, history and geology. the water flows over a dam and under a covered bridge, a unique sight not seen anywhere else. the dam is part of the county's agricultural history. the limestone bed causes the creek to go dry, so the dam actually helps maintain water and keep fish alive in the stream. However, the park master plan, created by the Wildlands Conservancy, called for the dam's demolition, and the park director is the son of the Wildlands Education Director. The Commissioners, who don't give a damn about history or the voters, are just simply accommodating the Conservancy.

pathfinder said...

"The Commissioners, who don't give a damn about history or the voters, are just simply accommodating the Conservancy."

That is a major problem in the Lehigh Valley. The transplants from NY & NJ have no ties to the history of this area and could care less. They only care about themselves and their own point of view, which is what they buy.

Jamie Kelton said...

What is needed is to insure the Commissioners act according to the voters. This may well require legal action and a cease and desist letter be sent to the Township to change or alter the dam in any way.

Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania said...

Dave, Keep us out of your dam mess, it's not Whitehall Township Commissioners but South Whitehall Township Commissioners. We gave North and South Whitehall Townships and Coplay Borough independance back in the 1860's