South Whitehall Township - What's New
NOTICE TO RESIDENTS OF SOUTH WHITEHALL TOWNSHIP
May 21, 2013
On behalf of the South Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners and staff, I write to inform you of a very unfortunate situation. As reported by the District Attorney's office, a former 30-year employee of the Township has been charged with criminal conduct for actions we believe to have been taken during her time as an employee of South Whitehall Township. During the course of this lengthy investigation by the Township and the District Attorney's office, we have not been in a position to disclose any information to the public. Even now, while this criminal case is pending in Lehigh County Court and being directed by the District Attorney's Office, we are not at liberty to disclose all details. However, we feel it important to share some information about this case, and the steps we have taken to safeguard Township assets.
First, let me say we are fully committed to ensuring restitution to anyone who has been victimized by this former employee's alleged action. We are fully committed to working with the District Attorney's office to ensure that justice is served. In addition, we are fully committed to taking the steps necessary to maximize the recovery of funds so that the Township is made whole to the fullest extent realistically possible.
Upon taking over as Township Manager, approximately two years ago we embarked on a systematic review and evaluation of all Township departments, systems, and procedures. It was determined that the Township needed better internal financial controls. The Township was using an antiquated 35-year old financial software package, that in our opinion provided inadequate checks and balances for prudent financial management of an operation the size of South Whitehall Township. Within weeks of my taking over as Manager, we embarked on a process to replace our software with a new financial software package. That new financial software is now in operation. In addition to replacing financial software, based on our systematic review of Township operations, the current administration has dramatically increased our financial internal controls and modified our personnel and their financial responsibilities.
As part of our ongoing efforts to improve Township operations, we uncovered some irregularities in certain financial accounts that justified further review. Upon recognizing the possible existence of fraudulent activity, we immediately began an internal investigation, followed by the hiring of an independent third-party fraud investigator and forensic accountant. These investigations were both thorough and lengthy and unveiled what we believe to be an elaborate 'lapping' scheme. Our internal investigation concluded that this activity had been ongoing for many years, and that it involved the manipulation of the South Whitehall Township Authority water and sewer accounts, along with Township refuse accounts. It is clear that only a very limited number of residential and business accounts have been affected by this unfortunate situation. The employee we believe to have been involved in this alleged fraudulent activity no longer works for the Township.
Lastly, let me assure you that your Board of Commissioners, your management team, and all Township Staff are committed to safeguarding Township assets and ensuring something like this never occurs again. We encourage anyone who has a question about their water, sewer, or refuse accounts to closely monitor our website at www.southwhitehall.com. It is through the website that we will continue to disseminate the latest information regarding this situation. Also, feel free to contact our municipal offices at 610-794-1330, or email at email@example.com regarding this situation.
JON A. HAMMER
SOUTH WHITEHALL APPROVES NEW FEE SCHEDULE
At their May 1st meeting, the Board of Commissioners approved a comprehensive revision of the Township Fee Schedule. This new Fee Schedule takes effect on June 1st. Many fees have been increased for the first time in almost twenty years and some new fees and policies have been implemented to ensure that the Township is reasonably compensated for the services it provides. Click the links below to download copies of the new Fee Schedule and applications that have been revised due to the changes in fees and policies.
PLEASE NOTE: the Fee Schedule and the applications listed below do not come into effect until June 1, 2013. The current Fee Schedule and applications are available on the appropriate webpages within this website.
Fee Schedule - Effective June 1, 2013
Subdivision and Land Development Review Application- Effective June 1, 2013
Please ensure you are using the most recent version of South Whitehall Township's forms. Whenever you need to complete a Township form, please be sure to obtain that form from the Permits Office at the Municipal Building or download it from this website.
Using out-of-date forms may give you incorrect information regarding the permit process and may lengthen the review of your project by providing inadequte information to those reviewing it.
REFUSE AND RECYCLING FEE INCREASE INFORMATION
On behalf of the Board of Commissioners and Township Administration, we would like to offer some additional information as it relates to the yearly fee increase of the Refuse/Recycling Fund. To clarify a few points, there are 6,969 residential customers in South Whitehall Township and note the JP Mascaro costs also include the hauling costs of the Yard & Garden Center. Since the five (5) year contract started with JP Mascaro in 2009, the hauler fee has outpaced the charge to the residential customer. The numbers for the last four (4) years are as follows:
2009: Residential Charge - $262/yr; JP Mascaro Charge - $294
2010: Residential Charge - $285/yr; JP Mascaro Charge - $297
2011: Residential Charge - $285/yr; JP Mascaro Charge - $306
2012: Residential Charge - $285/yr; JP Mascaro Charge - $315
In 2013, we will be paying JP Mascaro $324 per residential customer. If we had we kept the residential customer rate at $285 in 2013, the results would be a difference of $39/residential customer for a total of $268,242. The balance of the monies collected ($344 - $324) funds administrative salaries; Yard & Garden Center staff; postage; printing and supplies; disposal of yard & garden waste; legal and loans. The JP Mascaro contract, which ends in December of 2013, provides for the hauler to increase fees each year of the contract and in 2013 the increase is $63,792. Additionally, and unfortunately, it appears our grant funding in 2013 will be reduced by $40,000. In summary, there are a number of factors, a few noted above, that led to the 20% increase in Refuse/Recycling fees; however please note based on this increase, in 2013, we will have a balanced fund budget, where revenues will slightly exceed expenses without relying on cash from the previous year to balance the fund as well as have a reserve to account for unexpected expenses. I hope this information answers some of your questions. If you require additional information, please feel free to contact the Township at 610-398-0401.
Thank you for your understanding.
TOWNSHIP EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION SERVICE
The Township and Township Authority maintain an emergency notification system. This system is available to notify you in the event of an emergency. If you would like to receive emergency notifications from the Township, please complete the Reverse911 Update Form. Print and mail the form to the Township. To ensure the most accurate information is entered into the system, please complete the form online before printing. Your contact information is only for the Township's use and will not be shared with any other agency.
South Whitehall Township Board Vacancies
A MESSAGE TO THE PARENTS OF ALL SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN IN NORTH WHITEHALL TOWNSHIP, SOUTH WHITEHALL TOWNSHIP, AND UPPER MACUNGIE TOWNSHIP, AS WELL AS ALL OTHER COMMUNITY MEMBERS
As we move ahead in the school year, please know that the schools listed below have prepared to receive the many students that reside within our community. The security of our student population has been and always will be a top priority for all our schools as well as all the other community organizations whose names are attached to this document.
As a result, those educational agencies have been meeting proactively for the past three years with our local emergency management and township officials to coordinate efforts in response to any number of potential emergency situations that may occur. The listed below agencies share information and have taken an "all hazards approach" to preparing for the many issues facing us. Please know we function cooperatively on behalf of our students and consider nothing more important than their safety.
While each organization has its own set of individual response actions and plans, it is important to recognize that we communicate with each other and stand ready to provide assistance to one another as the need arises. Many minor situations, such as inclement weather, are handled immediately by the local schools and communication is directed to the parents. However, in the event of a larger, more widespread incident, communications will be made through a Public Information Officer (PIO) whose main purpose will be to insure everyone affected has the latest details.
The educational agencies, first responders, and township officials will continue to collaborate in the future in order to develop on-going partnerships to promote the safety and well-being of our residents. Thank you for the support you have provided through the years. We look forward to serving you even more effectively as we move forward in the future.
American Red Cross
Lehigh Career & Technical Institute
North Whitehall Township
Berks-Lehigh Regional Police
Lehigh County Emergency Services
St. Joseph the Worker
Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit #21
Parkland School District
South Whitehall Township
Cetronia Ambulance Corps
Pennsylvania State Police
South Whitehall Township Police
Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley
Northern Valley EMS
Upper Macungie Township
Lehigh Carbon Community College
South Whitehall Offers Online Refuse/Recycling Bill Payment
South Whitehall Township is pleased to announce that we have entered into a service contract with Official Payments Corporation. This service will allow the convenience of paying refuse/recycling invoices by debit card, credit card or electronic check, over the internet or via the telephone.
This service will provide online payments up to $300.00 for a flat fee of $2.95.
Payments can be made 24 hours a day online or over the phone using an automated touch-tone system, or between 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. over the phone using live operators.
For more details, click this link to visit the new "Trash & Recycling/Payments" page of our website.
The South Whitehall Township Police Department has begun participating in the Premise Alert System, a program aimed at providing police, fire, ambulance and other first responders with information regarding individuals with special needs, health issues or disabilities. This information is not shared with anyone other than the appropriate emergency response agencies.
The form can be downloaded from the Police Department- FAQS/FORMS/LINKS page.
Completed forms should be returned to South Whitehall Township Police, 4444 Walbert Avenue, Allentown, PA 18104. Individuals not residing within South Whitehall Township should return completed forms to their respective police agency.
CRIMEMAPPING IS COMING TO SOUTH WHITEHALL
The South Whitehall Township Police Department is pleased to announce the introduction of CrimeMapping to area residents. CrimeMapping is an interactive program which enables the user to enter a street name or address and view selected types of crimes reported in the specified area of the department's jurisdiction. The statistics provided are extracted from the police department's record system based upon date and location information set by the user and are updated every 24 hours.
You can utilize CrimeMapping by going to www.crimemapping.com or visiting the Police Department- FAQS/FORMS/LINKS page.