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Lehigh County capital plan for 2023-27 gets unanimous vote

Lehigh County commissioners voted to prioritize shelling out around $140 million on advancement assignments in excess of the following five decades all through a Wednesday meeting, a prepare that will likely appear with a future tax hike.

The board voted unanimously for the movement with tiny discussion.

The projects are component of Lehigh County’s 2023-27 capital system, a five-year directional system. Even though it incorporates amounts the assignments are envisioned to charge, it shouldn’t be confused with a finances, in which the county allocates revenue in one particular-year paying programs. Even so, these budgets could mirror the capital prepare priorities, county Typical Providers Director Rick Molchany explained.

“I questioned the section heads to search in advance, not just 5 years in advance, but to glimpse way ahead so we can commence to foresee big paying out and money arranging for you as you are creating your tax methods,” Molchany told officials July 6.

Cedarbrook nursing dwelling in South Whitehall Township would be in line for $31 million extra of rehabilitation get the job done beneath the paying priorities. Also on the list are upgrades to the 911 communications technique, farmland preservation and more bridge repairs:

  • The approach would enhance what is now an analog 911 radio system for the county to a absolutely electronic a single. The projected expense is $46 million. This modify would possible go into effect by 2025, if authorized.
  • The system dedicates $14.5 million to farmland preservation, supporting guard from ongoing warehouse advancement in the county. To date, nearly 27,000 acres of Lehigh County farmland and 381 farms have been preserved. The county wishes to safe 2,000 acres above the up coming five decades.
  • County-owned bridges would obtain approximately $9 million in servicing or minor rehabilitation around the upcoming quite a few years to hold them open up.

To meet up with the needs of its jobs, the county would likely need to have to increase taxes around just about every 10 many years, Molchany mentioned, though unknowns these kinds of as opportunity job delays make it challenging to decide when taxes could be raised and by how much.

Throughout the 1st looking through of the adoption July 13, Commissioner Jeffrey Dutt said: “I feel people needs that have been stated in the Cash Approach are incredibly important, and I recognize the get the job done that we have to do [with the projects].”