The deterioriation in relations between Lower Saucon Township and Hellertown borough is continuing, apparently with no end in sight.
That much was evident Monday, when Hellertown Borough Council president Tom Rieger read a public statement in response to a letter from township leaders he said the borough had received.
“We are in receipt of a cease and desist letter from Lower Saucon Township, in regards to the continued operation of the Saucon Valley Compost Center that ordered us to shut down the facility,” Rieger said. “Under a previously approved motion by this body, the Borough of Hellertown has authorized the firm of White & Williams to appeal any and all actions by Lower Saucon Township. The compost center will continue its operation, and as a reminder, we are offering access to all Lower Saucon Township residents for only $25. That gives all the access and amenities that everyone has been accustomed to. If you are interested, new cards can be obtained at Hellertown Borough Hall during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 to 4.”
“It’s a legal matter, so that’s all I’m going to say,” said Rieger. after reading the statement.
He then commented that the compost center has “been busier than ever” since reopening in the spring.
Located at 2011 Springtown Hill Road in Lower Saucon Township, the borough-owned facility was previously used by both borough and township residents under an intermunicipal agreement.
In January, the Borough of Hellertown sued the township for compost center funds it says it is owed, in a case that is now pending in the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas.
Lower Saucon Township opened a yard waste dropoff facility for township residents on Polk Valley Road in the spring and later hosted a backyard composting workshop, with reimbursement of part of the cost available to residents.
The Borough of Hellertown holds a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection permit to operate the facility it owns as a compost center.
The Saucon Valley Compost Center is open Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Aug. 31, and will be open every third Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. September through November.
After Christmas, the center typically accepts discarded Christmas trees.
A borough-issued ID card is required to access the facility.
In other business, council accepted the resignation of Steve LaBrake as its representative on the Saucon Rail Trail Oversight Commission. The Borough of Hellertown is now seeking an interested borough resident fill the seat as a voting member of the commission. Interested residents should submit a letter of interest or send an email to c.*********@he***************.org prior to Aug. 16.
At Monday’s meeting, Rieger said that while there is an Aug. 7 Hellertown Borough Council meeting on the calendar, council will likely not hold that meeting. In that case, their next meeting will be Monday, Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. Meetings are held in-person at Hellertown Borough Hall and also livestreamed online, with recordings of them available for viewing on the borough’s Facebook page.