In another measured, deliberate step, Macungie Borough Council this week unanimously agreed to go forward with three capital projects that will ultimately cost about $1 million.
Though little was offered, there was plenty of time for public comment on the construction of Lumber Street, the reconstruction of Cotton Street and a traffic light that may be constructed at Church and Main streets. But consideration for taking on that much debt will mean there will be more time for public comment as the plan proceeds.
The first step, taken at the Feb. 19 meeting, was to approve the hiring of a financial consultant because the projects will require the borough to take on either a loan or to issue a bond.
A fourth component—the refinancing of Water Authority debt— may or may not be included in the costs being considered.
Some debate surrounded the possibility of the Church and Main traffic light because if a traffic study shows that a light is warranted, the borough loses the option to choose whether to install one, Borough Manager Chris Boehm said.
If a traffic study shows the need, a light must be installed and would cost about $300,000, she said.
However, council decided to go ahead with a traffic study of the intersection to be done by a private engineer instead of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Council President Christopher Becker repeated several times that quick decisions are not necessary.
"We can either go forward with these projects or tell the financing people we need more time," Becker said.
Joseph Sikorski reminded fellow council members that there will never be a more economical time to take make this move.
"It takes a long time to turn left out of Church Street. If a traffic study shows the need, there will never be a cheaper time to buy or to finance a light," Sikorski said.
Macungie resident Marvin Moyer, however, told council he is against taking on the cost of installing the traffic light.
"I'm opposed to a light that taxpayers of Macungie will have to pay for. That traffic is generated in Lower Macungie. Instead, make the speed limit ther 15 miles per hour and people will get annoyed and stop using that intersection," Moyer said.