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From the Vault: News from the Thursday, Jan. 4, 1973, edition of the Press & Journal

Posted 1/9/19

Water treatment, renewal projects essential in 1973

Mayor Harry Judy and Borough Manager George Merkel both see disposal of solid waste as one of the key issues facing Middletown during …

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From the Vault: News from the Thursday, Jan. 4, 1973, edition of the Press & Journal


Water treatment, renewal projects essential in 1973

Mayor Harry Judy and Borough Manager George Merkel both see disposal of solid waste as one of the key issues facing Middletown during 1973.

In a special report to this newspaper, Judy said solid waste management, and how Middletown is going to dispose of it — whether by recycling, incineration or landfill, is a most urgent question and problem.

Merkel, who has spearheaded the administrative spadework as president of the Lower Dauphin Council of Governments until he stepped down a year ago, said it now appears Middletown will be one of eight municipalities to back the recently constituted authority as it prepares to establish a permanent method of waste disposal.

The authority is expected to elect officers this month as well as adopt bylaws. All participating municipalities have appointed representatives to serve on the authority. Former Middletown Council President Edward Willenbecher is the borough’s representative.

Merkel also sees the construction of 43 low-cost housing units as a “must” in order to get the Rev. Charles Johnson Urban Renewal Project moving in its second “action” year. These units are programmed for construction on the borough’s former parking lot on Wilson Street between Grant and Lawrence Streets.

HUD has approved the 43 units but funding has not been cleared to date. In recent weeks, work has been started to demolish vacant and blighted housing within the Johnson Project area.

“This is a good move,” Merkel added, “but the main thing is the start of the 43 units to provide housing for residents now living within the Johnson Project area.”

Judy and Merkel also emphasized the upcoming decisions facing First Ward residents whose homes were damaged in last June’s flood. The federal government has funded a study of the First Ward and this project is known as the Paul T. Leicht Urban Renewal Flood Disaster Project. Merkel said the main purpose of the project is to obtain federal funds to help First Ward residents affected by the flood to find new housing in areas not vulnerable to flood waters.

If the project continues and the funding is forthcoming, the pro-gram would enable residents to purchase other housing or build. Funding would go beyond the value of their present properties in order to relocate in flood-safe areas.

Construction of the new Liberty Fire Company’s station has already been funded by the federal government and should become a reality in 1973.

Judy said citizens will be proud of the modern facility to be built at Emaus and Adelia streets.

Merkel said construction could get underway within two months since bids are due in approximately four weeks. If the planned timetable continues, the new fire station should be finished next November.

Judy said flood victims will continue to require help in 1973 as they strive to return to a normal life. Studies and decisions will have to be made by government — especially in the area of zoning.

Highspire joins borough to oppose bridge proposal

Highspire Borough Council on Tuesday joined forces with Middletown in opposing the proposed site of the PennDOT river bridge.

The long-range plan would provide for a bridge across the Susquehanna River between Fishing Creek and Highspire with an interchange connection to Route 230. Highspire’s objection to the plan stems from the fact that the proposal could conceivably affect both private residences and the Bethlehem Steel Corp. in the borough.

Last November, the Middletown Area Association of the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Harrisburg opposed the plan, and in turn suggested that the bridge be built in Londonderry Township, which would connect with York County, and pointed to the benefits of the location to business and industry.

The proposal would connect with Route 283 in the township and I-83 in York County. For many years, residents of this area have pointed out the need for a bridge here which could conceivably relieve traffic congestion into Harrisburg.

Long-range planning, officials said, should also take into consideration the future of Harrisburg International Airport.

Council to act on bids for new substation

Borough Council will award bids for the construction of a new electric substation at its Jan. 8 session.

Quotes were received at the December meeting and then turned over to the borough's electrical consultants, W. M. Lewis and Associates.

The new substation is to be built this year on borough property adjacent to its water storage tank along the Pennsylvania Turnpike. It is a vital link to service the expanding Village of Pineford as well as to upgrade Middletown’s electrical distribution system in the second and third wards.

A new high-voltage service line will be extended from the present Mill Street substation to the new facility.

In other agenda items scheduled for next week’s meeting, council will:

• Receive bids for two loads of poles for the electric department.

• Consider the tax exoneration request of Dauphin County Chief Assessor Berry E. Taylor to remove the 1970 borough tax in the amount of $13.23 for a trailer owned by Larry R. Bailey. The trailer has been removed from the borough.

• Hear a progress report from Councilman Vincent Tritch on the renovation plans for Hoffer Park.

Hot buys

• 20 percent off dresses and sportswear. Charleste Shoppe, 4 N. Union St., Middletown. Phone 944-9183.

• Warehouse clearance, savings up to 50 percent on ceiling, tile and floor. Panel City Inc., 2 S. Union St., Middletown.

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