We Present the Truth, But You Do Not Comprehend

(The Transformation of Lehigh County from its historic
agricultural roots to that spiraling urbanization as part of the
Megalopolis )

          By Dennis L. Pearson

(c) 2009 by Dennis  L. Pearson --- All Rights Reserved --- No
part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any
form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including
photocopying and recording or by any information
storage or retrieval system, without permission from the

                                    Part One

                            INSTALLMENT ONE

The Lehigh-Northampton County Airport Authority has met
opposition to the Authority's ABE Airport Master Plan to
expand the runways at Allentown- Bethlehem-Easton airport to
better deal with the future.

The Joint Planning Commission Lehigh-Northampton Counties
in its Comprehensive Plan for Lehigh & Northampton Counties
--- The Lehigh Valley of August 1992 states the following:

"Enplanements at ABE have increased over eightfold since
1986. The Airport Authority has prepared a master plan to deal
with future growth. The plan assumes that, at a minimum, the
current level of airline service will remain at the ABE Airport
during the 20-year planning period of 1989 - 2009. Passenger
activity is projected to grow significantly. Enplanements are
expected toincrease from 437,581 in 1930 to over 1,000,000 in
2009. Most of the increased passenger activity in the 1990s
will be accommodated by the emerging larger narrow-body
aircraft fleet rather than an increased number of flights,
according to the master plan."

The ABE Airport was the starting and ending point of an
adventure that took me to Washington D.C.; Huntsville,
Alabama; Dallas, Texas; Seattle, Washington;
Anchorage, Alaska; Dinali National Park; Fairbanks, Alaska;
back to Anchorage, Alaska; Steward, Alaska, Valdez, Alaska,
Sitka, Alaska, Juneau, Alaska, but definitely not Ketchikan,
Alaska; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, back to
Seattle, Washington; Atlanta, Georgia; back to Huntsville,
Alabama; Chicago, Illinois; and finally back to Allentown,
Pennsylvania... From the air I saw mountain chains such as
the Appalachians and the Rockies, Rivers such as the
New, the Red and the mighty Mississippi (and yes, it was
arising); unexpectingly, I also saw the venerable Wrigley Field
through a small peephole In the clouds.

                     ***                 ***                   ***

For the Lehigh Valley, the arrival of larger narrow-body aircraft
may be regarded as a technological advancement. However, a
report released last April 1992 to the Arizona legislature and
the State's Governor by the Arizona Space Commission cited
the need to "initiate development of (a) commercial space
launch facility and associated support resources.

Says the report: "The new spaceships such as the proposed
McDonnell Douglas Delta Clipper will be built and operated like
Ocean Ships or Airliners."

We ask, will there ever be enough support in the Lehigh Valley
to establish a spaceport?

Also we ask, Will we satisfy the five prerequisites identified by
the Arizona Space Commission to handle such vehicles?

The prerequisites are:

... Transportation access by rail, highway and air;

... Clear airspace corridors for departures and arrivals of both
vertical- takeoff/vertical landing (SSTO's) and horizontal-
takeoff-/horizontal landing (Aerospace Planes) vehicles;

... Proximity to other transportation nodes --- high speed
railways, extended and improved highways and airports;

... Proximity to existing natural gas as a source of hydrogen,
which can be processed into liquid hydrogen rocket fuel; and,

... Proximity to a high-capacity electric power grid.

Most likely, the first spaceport built will be placed where the
spaceships are assembled. Therefore, if the Lehigh Valley
meets the five prerequisites outlined, our politicians should
move quickly and aggressively to get McDonnell Douglas
and other potential spaceship builders to locate their plants in
Pennsylvania if not the Lehigh Valley.

***   ***   ***

How long, O people of Allentown, the Lehigh County and the
Lehigh Valley region have we spoken to you unanswered.

We present the truth, but you do not seemingly comprehend.
Or should we say more accurately, you don't want to
comprehend or know the truth.

Why did you allow such people of possible weak wisdom and
foresight to manipulate your futures? Whether these people
be representatives of government or government associated
special interest groups.

They showed you no justice. They only wanted to outwit you
and divide you to obtain their secret and unknown end, and
there was work afoot these past forty years which you will not
believe (or will find difficult to comprehend) when it is told to

What we saw was planned or unanticipated destruction of the
character of the Lehigh Valley's landscape from largely rural
to urban sprawl in the name of an ideal called Megalopolis.

A Megalopolis, of course, is a thickly populated region
centering in a metropolis or embracing several metropolises.
And, clearly, the communities of the Allentown-Bethlehem-
Easton Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area fit that
definition. Statistically, the A-B-E Standard Metropolitan Area
was having a population of approximately 640,000 in 1980.
This vital statistic was representing the third largest
concentration of population in the Commonwealth
of Pennsylvania and 62nd nationally.

*** Ask not what you can do for the people, but what you can
do for the party.***

I have heard an Allentown Council person make comment in
1982 on an upcoming state electoral contest. That person
suggested that such and such a person ought to be
supported by the party for the good that person will do for
the party. I ask the following question: Did that elected official
consider the far more important fact of what good that
person's election would do for the people of the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania?

It is our opinion that in this democratic society, the people can
not allow the interests of political party or special interest
coalitions --- that is, their pursuit to gain or perpetuate power
and influence --- to supersede the well-being and
needs of the people. The basic needs of people being food
shelter opportunity and hope.

It is a given that political parties play an important role in our
electoral process. That political parties expect their members
on elective bodies to speak in one voice on certain issues. We
only ask that the political parties disassociate themselves
from the concepts, influences, contacts and drives that have
changed the character of the Lehigh Valley, (or the "Little
Apple" if you will). Perhaps, to its future year detriment.

We are concerned that this drive for economic transformation,
community metamorphosis and social reorganization may be
too costly to achieve in terms of both moral and monetary

And more important, it may be too costly in terms of the loss
of freedom of choice. Wake up O people of Allentown, the
Lehigh County and the Lehigh Valley region before you lose
your freedom. Freedom is such a valuable
commodity to allow it to disappear through the blind and
unthinkable acceptance of the purveyors of double-talk,
confusion, and appeared naiveté. Watch out for those who are
hungry for power for power's sake. Watch out for those who
seek to control the Media whether it be electronic or newsprint.
Watch out for those who treat concerned citizens badly and
above all, watch out for the utilities and their secret servants
within government. Because, all these people will not reveal or
fully comprehend the truth or consequences as to what
happened to the Lehigh Valley these forty or so years. And
very upsetting too is the realization that we can no longer
depend on the media whether printed or electronic to present
the total story.

              ***                           ***                           ***

I ask - was it meant to be or did it occur by accident or
evolution that the fastest growing job areas in the Lehigh
Valley resultant from the forty years of economic growth
activity occur in warehousing, materials handling, inventory
management, and transportation?

Please note --- Lehigh County economic development leaders
are very delighted that Nestle Corporation of Switzerland has
established a huge warehousing operation in what remains of
the alfalfa, corn and wheat fields of Western Lehigh County
and also, that Perrier Water of Switzerland and Coca
Cola Bottling Company of Atlanta, Georgia have followed suit
... Unfortunately, these same Lehigh County economic
development leaders know that the alleged benefits from this
type of development will be sustained for an unknown
time period before the negatives again emerge.

Said a farmer's wife to the farmer: " Look it here Elmer, I read
the other day that Perrier plans to build a plant right here in
the Lehigh Valley. Responded Elmer: "Lizzy, the non
traditional farmer that sold the land to Perrier made a bundle
on the deal.... Personally, I always wanted to taste that special
imported mountain mineral water found in the Grocery Store
... But, it doesn't come cheap."    Interrupted their son Butch:
" Seems to me dad, if Perrier bottles their water
right here, you might already have drunk it from your well....
Do you actually think that Perrier will transport and bottle that
mountain mineral stuff here?   . I wonder what effect in the
long-term this water mining will have on the water
table... " Responded Elmer: " Shut up son and drink your taste
of life ...   Interrupted Lizzy: "Besides son, that's Allentown's
problem." ... And so it is in the worse case scenario! That is,
Allentown’s prime sources of water, the Little
Lehigh Creek and Schantz's Spring, might be made less
reliable by over-mining of the water basin from which these
vital Allentown 'water sources are fed.

Harry Forker has said for years that water withdrawals from
the basin can best be controlled by regionalization of water
service ... He has also said that Allentown's water sources are
plentiful for now and the foreseeable future with proper
conservation.  Harry noted too, that the planned discharge of
treated wastewater into the Lehigh River at Northampton
Pennsylvania by Ponderosa Fibers and other companion
plants could pose problems at Allentown's designated
alternate water source of the future, the Lehigh River... Well
now, we do have a problem down in Allentown, don't we.?...

The phone rings in the office of the mayor in Allentown. The
Lehigh County Authority (LCA) is making the call ... Said the
LCA operative, may we tap some of your water from Schantz's
Spring ... Said the Mayor: "I can't do that. Some
people may protest." ... Said the LCA operative: "Don't worry
about those activists, most of your citizens want to move out
of town anyway and many of them would rather drink Perrier
Water then City water ... Besides, I heard that your training
your firemen to be Off-Track Betting (OTB) tellers and ticket
takers for your Lights in the Park Display in Lehigh Parkway."
Said the mayor: " I have a good fire sale on City Parks also."

              ***                           ***                           ***

**** Leaping from infancy to adulthood without being able to
afford the luxury of casual youth****

Genevieve Blatt, the Pennsylvania Secretary of Internal Affairs
in the George Leader Administration (1955-1958), attended a
historic gathering of Lehigh Valley political subdivision
representatives and leaders at the former South
Mountain Junior High School in Allentown October 7, 1957 and
left the call for "political subdivisions to contract with
neighboring communities to achieve municipal services they
might not otherwise be able to afford or which can be
achieved more logically on an area basis."

Secretary Blatt liked Metropolitan area growth in the United
States to the human life. She said:

" We're now suffering the same growing pains that at the
same time depressed us and exhilarated us as individuals in
our adolescence... Adolescence goes hand in hand with
boundless energy, limitless imagination, chronic optimism,
and in some instances a bit of naiveté that comes from lack of

In final analysis, Secretary Blatt maintained that our
communities were leaping from infancy to adulthood without
being able to afford the luxury of casual youth.

*** A historical analysis***

Of course, from our prospective we have the advantage of
historical retrospective, but four thoughts are evoked from
Secretary Blatt's remarks:

First --- this visit was either the source or excuse for the
creation of the Industrial Development Corporation of Lehigh
County (IDC).

Second --- this visit was either the source or excuse for the
creation of the Joint Planning Commission, Lehigh-
Northampton Counties (JPC)

Third --- this visit was either the source or excuse for the
creation of a possible metropolitan Area Wastewater
Treatment District comprising Allentown and its surrounding

And lastly --- the thought has occurred to us that this sudden
rush of the Lehigh Valley from infancy to adolescence to
premature adulthood could lead to a traumatic decline into
maturity and senility in rapid succession if the destruction
of moral considerations resultant from uncontrolled and
mismanaged economic development became too severe to be
corrected within acceptable monetary limits.

**** Lonely candle-like building protruding upward into the sky
like a beacon for transformation****

During the mid to late fifties the Lehigh Valley was
predominately agricultural in both orientation and thought.
The then existing industrial complex being
primarily concentrated in the cities (that is, Allentown,
Bethlehem, and Easton in Pennsylvania and Phillipsburg in
New Jersey) and a few other suburban communities. We note
the heart of this four county Industrial complex being the
Bethlehem Steel Corporation, New Jersey Zinc Company,
Ingersoll-Rand, Mack Trucks, Air Products & Chemicals,
Lehigh Portland and Western Electric which transformed into
Lucent Technologies after its spin off from AT & T
Technologies .Lucent Technologies again after division
becoming Agere Technologies before selling it self off to LIS.
The final act for this litany of change after the government
enforced break-up of the Telephone and Communication was
for LIS to shut down Allentown's biggest water user

The life of a farmer is a rough but meaningful way of life. But
in the same mid to late fifties period, attitudes developed that
sought community wealth from economic activities other than
agriculture. An adherent of the new thinking would assert that
the fertile land resources outside the city stood undeveloped,
only producing marginal wealth for the communities in which
said land resource was located by virtue of existing land use.
Ultimately, it would be the mission of these same forces to
transform the land into uses that would produce greater
wealth, but we can not automatically assume that such
transformation in land use or economic activity would
necessarily produce a greater benefit to society; Therefore,
we do suggest that to achieve their secret or implied purposes
these said adherents for urban development would attempt
to educate the public and public officials as to the value of
economic development activity in areas that historically were
agricultural in both orientation and thought.

Since August 1981 the Common Sense Herald has stood tall in
reporting the story. But in 1996 a colleague wondered if he
could say anything new and profound about the events that
have occurred and consequences that followed.

He also wondered whether the Common Sense Herald was the
proper vehicle in the age of electronic mail and the Internet to
tell the story. This is due to the fact that matters in the Lehigh
Valley are now effected by outside forces, which are
beyond the control of local officials on the city and county
level, and by trends being set by these outside forces,
including the national and international economies.

In the Lehigh Valley, part of the story, of course, is that we are
using up too much valuable farmland in order to pursue our
economic development goals ... And, land developers wait like
vultures to devour the carcasses of former farms.

              ***                           ***                                   **

In the same mid to late fifties period there stood a lonely
candle-like building protruding upward into the sky like a
beacon for progress. This was the corporate headquarters for
the Pennsylvania Power and Light Company located at 9th &
Hamilton Streets in downtown Allentown. It stood tall, easy to
see day or night, in an empty and seemingly undeveloped land
that could not comprehend or visualize that the P.P. & L would
become a very strong advocate or ally for planned industrial
development activities that would forever change the long-
term economic usage of land resources that can be best
described as sacred and irreplaceable.

In analysis, from the profit-motive standpoint, it was very
logical for the electric utility to become an advocate for
planned industrial, commercial and residential development.
Why? The P.P. & L's own financial welfare and growth would
depend upon the transformation of then existing agricultural
and vacant land into units that required its service and
importantly, traditional family type agriculture does not
necessarily require such dependence.

The family type farming operations of a religious sect known
as the Amish concentrated near the Pennsylvania farming
communities of Kutztown and Lancaster clearly demonstrate
the above point. The Amish by religious doctrine has
traditionally shunned the use of most if not all-20th century
conveniences in their farming operations but remarkably are
able to produce above average yields in their fields.

Simply stated, whether individuals within the P.P. & L were the
authors, the disciples, the instigators, the planners, the
architects, or the draftsmen of enhanced transformation
activities, the historic fact is that corporate leaders of
P.P. & L in the mid to late fifties understood that such
activities would increase customer demand for electric service
within the P.P. & L's service area. Consequently, corporate
leaders informed corporate stockholders that additional power
capacity had to be furnished to meet the future requirements
of new residential, industrial and commercial customers. And
with this investment in capital and resources, the P.P. & L had
a vested interest in offering its expertise to those adherents
for enhanced urban development whose implied and secret
purpose was to educate both the public and government
officials as to the benefits that would be derived from
economic development activities in areas that were historically
agricultural both in orientation and thought.

And the same can be said of electric utilities such as
Philadelphia Electric Company (PECO) and Metropolitan
Edison - Pennsylvania Electric Companies in their sphere of

              ***                           ***                                   ***

*** A community can be stable and grow and expand in wealth
only by mining, manufacturing and processing to sell**

Most interestingly, the same October 7, 1957 regional planning
meeting attended by Genevieve Blatt and sponsored by the
Tri-City Conference, an association comprising public officials
of Allentown-Bethlehem- and Easton, would provide
opportunity for P.P.&L to state its vested viewpoint.

Ralph C. Swartz, Vice President for Commercial operations for
the Pennsylvania Power & Light Company, was chosen for this

Mr. Swartz demonstrated that a community could be stable,
can grow and expand in wealth only "by mining
manufacturing, and processing commodities to sell." Hence,
the wealth of a community depended upon its industry.

In addition, Mr. Swartz maintained that industry checking a
site for location or expansion looks for a desirable industrial
climate, good labor markets, reasonable tax rates, plus good
schools, churches, residential areas and recreational and
cultural facilities. But what Mr. Swartz stressed most was that
industry wanted to be accepted not just by public officials but
by the public a swell. He said: "The attitude of the public
reflects on its public officials and healthy relationships

Mr. Swartz was successful in fueling the movement toward his
company's desired ends that evening for the representatives
of the twenty-three communities that attended that staged
event went back to their communities and the enhanced
transformation of the Lehigh Valley had begun.

              ***                           ***                           ***

For Years the Lehigh Valley Council for Regional Livability
Vice President Harry Forker and the writers of the Lehigh
Valley Common Sense Herald have tried to call attention to the
degraded state of the Little Lehigh Creek, Allentown's major
drinking water source. Finally the Wildlands Conservancy got
around to noticing and has completed a two-year $25,000
study telling us what we already knew, or part of what we
already knew: that the stream is being "mistreated"
(Morning Call, March 29, 1994. "Little Lehigh Creek Troubled,"
p. A1). The report's conclusion is false; it says the stream's
health is "generally good." It's not; the Little Leigh’s health is
generally bad, if not worse. The report shows the
kind of thinking that led to the decline of the Little Lehigh in
the first place.

Beyond that, the Conservancy is largely made up of people
who benefited from using the stream as a storm sewer for
decades. The Call article says the trout in the Little Lehigh are
the Conservancy's "canaries in the coal mine," but years
before the fish started to decline, the real "canaries" were the
spring tadpoles that once flourished in the waters, along with
water skimmers, crawfish and minnows, all vanished over the
past 40 years under the impact of unbridled suburban
development on the watershed. The Conservancy report
recommends curbing erosion and sedimentation "by letting
trees, grass and other vegetation" proliferate along the
water's edge; maybe they could use the grass that's grown up
under the Conservancy's feet all these years the Little
Lehigh was turning into a toilet. Jennifer Robinson, the
Conservancy's director of research who headed the study,
claimed "we don't have a good gauge of what the stream used
to be like in certain areas." Yes you do; his name was
Harry Forker. He could tell you all you want or need to know
about the Little Lehigh and a lot of other streams. If you've
never talked to Harry, you're starting from the wrong baseline
and its now too late.

                      ***                           ***                           ***

Planned industrial development "arrived" October 7, 1957 in
the Lehigh County as the City of Allentown neared its 200th
year (1962). There were some that said Allentown lagged in
industrial growth. There were others who looked to other
cities and the cited the results of development elsewhere.
Then too, there were still others who argued that Allentown's
economy was strong enough but that it was better to act from
strength than from weakness. In any case, whatever the
reason, Allentown and Lehigh County jointly turned to the
Industrial Development Corporation of Lehigh County (IDC) to
build upon an already diversified economy and make it
stronger with the addition of new industry.

Organized October 7, 1957, the IDC emerged as a potent force
in the late 1950's as steel employment in neighboring
Bethlehem lagged due to recession and labor difficulties.
Under Presidents Ralph C. Swartz and I. Cyrus Gutman, the
IDC added its first professional, Executive Director John W.
Trauch, a Red Hill native and former industrial development
associate for the Pennsylvania Power and Light Company and
the Pennsylvania State Department of Commerce. The
IDC, we note, being the brainchild of the Allentown Chamber of

                              INSTALLMENT TWO

              *** LAST DAYS OF THE LITTLE LEHIGH***

The Little Lehigh Creek is the main drinking water source for
the City of Allentown, but you'd never know it from the way it's
been mistreated over the years. That mistreatment continues
as this was written.

Mistreatment of the Little Lehigh has almost been the policy of
the municipalities through which it runs, notably Macungie,
Salisbury and, last but not least, Allentown itself. "Mistreated"
was in fact the word used in a 1994 Wildlands
Conservancy report on the state of the Little Lehigh, although
the Conservancy itself has been able to do precious little
about the unbridled suburban development that has been
allowed to overwhelm the quality of the creek's waters.

The ink was hardly dry on the Conservancy report before the
latest examples of the factors that contributed to the Little
Leigh’s decline and eventual demise were uncorked in the
form of new luxury housing proposals along the creek
and a tributary, Little Cedar Creek. Deer Run, a development
of 12 multi-acre lots in Salisbury Township adjacent to the
Fish Hatchery in Little Lehigh Parkway, covers a major portion
of the land between Fish Hatchery Road on the North,
Briarwood Road on the south, Keystone Road on the east and
Cedar Crest Boulevard on the west. This development was
approved by Salisbury Township in December 1993 with little
fanfare from the Morning Call, although the development lies
on the watershed uphill from the Little Lehigh, and drainage
from lawns, interior streets and driveways could affect a
spring that drains into the Little Lehigh and the Little Lehigh
itself. Nitrates that leach from fertilized lawns were just part of
the pollutants cited in the conservancy report.

Fishermen concerned about the effects of this development
on the quality of fly- fishing and on the Fish Hatchery itself at
first assumed that a strip of parkland presently running
between Keystone Road and the wooded, brush-covered
hillside from Fish Hatchery to Briarwood Road might serve as
a buffer to absorb runoff. Examination of the development site
plan however showed that this "buffer" was within the
development and covered by at least two of the lots.
Curiously, however, inquiries of city park workers revealed
that the strip had been maintained for years by the Parks
department. A similar instance of City workers maintaining
apparently private property came to light several years ago
when City Development Director Donald Bernhard declared
that a lot at the corner of 15th Street and Martin Luther King
Boulevard,was  maintained by City workers as part of Little
Lehigh Parkway for years, was actually private
property. No one seems to know the boundaries of the park or
City in the area of the Little Lehigh.

On April 28, 1994 Harry Forker, an LVCRL vice president and
inveterate flyfisherman, was accompanied by a brace of fellow
fishermen to a session of the Salisbury Township Board of
Commissioners to air his concerns about the development
impact on the Little Lehigh and the Fish Hatchery, already
overburdened by storm water runoff from existing office park
development on the watershed above the hatchery. Workers
reported that runoff sometimes ran a foot deep across the
Fish Hatchery parking lot after a thunderstorm.

Forker spoke for the better part of a half an hour while the
township commissioners listened respectfully. A companion
also commented. This, after all, was a major development that
could contribute to the further decline of a valuable fishery
and a major drinking water source if proper safeguards weren't
ensured by the township to protect the interests of both
Salisbury and Allentown.

Even so, the next day The Morning Call ran a small (but
bylined) story on the meeting headlined "Salisbury Eliminates
parking on Gaskill." In addition to hearing Forker's testimony
on the Little Lehigh, the commissioners had voted to
ban parking on a street named Gaskill Avenue. However, there
wasn't a word about Forker's presentation on the potential
dangers to the Little Lehigh; and, certainly there was nothing
on the reaction from the commissioners.

So much for the dedicated efforts of a public-spirited citizen.
So much for the purposes of public meetings. So much for the
fate of the Little Lehigh, which has attracted little enough
concern from the public --- and public officials ---
these many years, thanks in no small part to neglect by The
Morning Call, despite their polite one-day nod to the
Conservancy report on March 29, 1994.   And so much for
journalistic integrity and ethics, down the drain with the former
purity of the Little Lehigh. *

Meanwhile, the Trexler Trust has announced the sale of 90
acres of its property along Tilghman Street and Springhouse
Road adjacent to the Allentown Municipal Golf Course to an
investors" group planning to build more luxury
housing in Allentown's West End. Lee A. Butz, president of
Alvin H. Butz Inc., had been a  partner. The Sale price was $2
million, according to Kathryn Stephanoff, Trexler
Foundation board chair and long-time Allentown Public Library
Chief Libraian;. The Little Cedar Creek runs through this
property to join Cedar Creek at Cedar Crest and Parkway B
oulevards. Cedar Creek joins the Little Lehigh just upstream of
the City's water plant intake.

Two other major developments were planned on Trexler land
just west and south of the Butz tract. In addition to the impact
on Little Cedar Creek, there's the issue of increased traffic on
heavily traveled Tilghman Street and the impact on
Parkland School District once these expensive luxury homes
were  built and peopled with, in addition to adults from New
York and New Jersey, school-age children.

The total price of all three tracts would bring in less than $10
million, a little more than what the Crown American
Corporation was willing to pay for only a comparatively small
strip of what will now become the Butz development along
Springhouse Road. If Crown American had been allowed to
buy this small portion for their proposed Hess's shopping
mall, the Trexler Foundation would have realized much more
income and been able to sell the remaining major portion for
even more.

In the end, there would have been even more Trexler funding
available for the upkeep of the Allentown parks system and
protection of the Little Lehigh, the purpose for which the Little
Lehigh Parkway was originally designed. With Trexler Park
already approaching maximum use by the growing West End
horde and the Little Lehigh rapidly declining to storm sewer
status, Lord knows the City could have used the money.

So much for Trexler's trust

*** A Community built upon strong foundations.***

We ask today what type of community are we creating for

Shall our community be like a man or woman who had the
sense to build his or her house on rock? The rain came down,
the flood rose the wind blew and beat upon the house; but it
did not fall, because its foundations were set on rock. Or,
shall our community be like the man or woman who was
foolish enough to build his or her house on sand? The rain
came down, the flood rose, the winds blew, and beat upon
that house; down it fell with a great crash.

*** Vision of Allentown***

Fellow citizens, friends ---- Our vision of Allentown and Lehigh
County or any community is the former case. The rock is the
pursuance of a strong fiscal position in all budget areas.
Economic decision-making that will be beneficial over a long
term rather then short and both responsive and respective to
the public interest or will. Also, the rock being the consensus
of shared values embodied in these words: family, work,
neighborhood, public safety and freedom.

*** Ideals whose foundations were built on sand**

But it is our feeling that our local leaders whether they be of
the Democratic Party or Republican, elected or appointed have
pursued ideas these past forty or so years whose foundations
were set in sand.

After all, haven't these administrators fallen prey to the siren
lure of federal grant programs (whether entitlement or
competitive) to the extent that a local dependence has
developed relating to the continual receipt of such funds?
Unfortunately, such continued flow of federal funds is subject
to yearly budgetary decisions and changing regulations in
regard to use of funds by decision-makers of various political
views in Washington D.C. Consequently, local governments
have allowed themselves to become hostages of uncertain
budgetary decisions that would determine the extent of future
federal subsidization of local government budgets.

One example being the Gramm - Rudman - Hollings federal
deficit reduction legislation of 1985 which sought to trigger
automatic administrative cuts in cases where the Congress
and the Administration could not agree on how to reach
federal deficit-reduction goals.

Yet, the politicians and the bureaucracy that has developed
since the mid-fifties on the local level to apply for or
administer federal funds have demonstrated a preference to
utilize federal funds rather then those raised at the local level
for projects and programs they believe are vital and of priority
in their communities.

Consequently, any attempt at the federal level to reduce the
flow of federal tax dollars to local governments most certainly
would receive negative reaction from those who benefit from
such subsidies.

Indeed, officials from the City of Allentown and corresponding
officials from other Tri-City Conference communities
(Bethlehem and Easton) had criticized President Ronald W,
Reagan for his program of systematic budget cuts that had
forced local governments in many cases to generate more
revenue locally. Allentown during its period of extreme
dependence upon federal grant programs actually realized a
real and inflationary decline in its tax base.

We ask --- what programs did Allentown devise that would in
the long-range successfully halt this trend toward declining
tax base?

Of course, the politicians and bureaucracy in true
bureaucratic fashion devised programs utilizing federal funds
and the partnership of the Allentown government, banking
institutions, non-profit community organizations, and the
media to attack the perceived causes of the real and
inflationary decline in tax base.

Naturally, not everyone had favored the agenda the city
bureaucracy wad following in regard to certain problem areas.
Therefore disagreement by citizens in regard to certain
programs or procedures was a given fact. Yet there was basis
in a concern that the bureaucracy was creating its own life
and was indeed compromising the good intentions of a proud
and self-sufficient people. The fact being that while citizen
participation in the decision-making process was
publicly encouraged, it was at the same time challenged by
bureaucracy through the manipulation of format and rules
pertaining to public meetings.

The new City of Allentown Home Rule Charter of February 13,
1996 does remedy certain abuses in regard to Citizens' right
to be heard at City Council meetings. The Charter provides
that Council must provide reasonable opportunity for
interested citizens and taxpayers to address the Council on
matters of general or special concern. Citizens' now have the
right to be heard as the first order of business at all public
meetings before a vote on any Council business occurs. In the
past Citizens had to wait to the wee hours of the morning to
be heard on non agenda items In the past, many citizens
because the length of the meeting chose to go home rather
then stay to speak.

Surely, it is a house built on foundations of sand that depends
on the uncertain nature of federal tax dollars as a remedy to
solve its substantial problems. And additionally, it is an act of
moral irresponsibility for a public official to hide from
the taxpayer the real cost of providing municipal services by
funding wages and salaries of fire fighters from a federal line

As it happened, when ever a federal line item disappeared
from the federal budget and became unavailable to the
municipality, the Daddona Administration in Allentown was
forced to return the cost of firefighter wages and salaries to
the main City Budget and the taxpayer was hit by additional
levies on his or her real estate tax.

Interestingly, the Daddona Administration never again raised
the millage on the property tax. What it did instead was to
increase fees on items such as Garbage Collection, and Water
and Sewer. And the successor Heydt Administration had also
adopted this methodology.

What did Shakespeare say about a rose?

*** Why dwell on the past?***

Why dwell on the past? We do so to remember the mistakes of
the past so as to avoid them in the future. Remember: Two
fates vast embrace us, time and space. The decisions of the
past (sometimes made in the course of failing to
recognize then current reality) do effect the course of the
future; and if we wish to avoid doing damage to the next
generation we must make the proper decisions today.

                      ***                   ***                           ***

We find the essay by Steve Brubaker of the Grace E.C.
Church of Lancaster Pennsylvania very inspirational in
bringing the problems and needs of cities in
proper focus:


When we think of the city, many images come to mind. The
city is pictured as "bustling", "active", "impersonal", and even
"scary" by those who live outside.

Our urban areas seem most obvious by their inclusion in the
nightly news:  riots, racial fights, murders, congestion, smog,
and other details seemingly dominate life for city dwellers. Yet,
"urban life (also presents) a dazzling (array) of contrasts. ...
Cities are symbols of human vigor, creativity, and vitality.
There is a constant exchange of energy and ideas, a
continuous interplay of thought and communication in urban
centers. The city pulsates with people on the move. Its
diversity presents a colorful and fascinating picture of the
riches of humanity." (1)

The city also depicts brokenness. The incidence of violence
builds an atmosphere of mistrust and apprehension. Living in
close proximity to other people and traffic noise promotes
anxiety. Poverty from unemployment prohibits the
establishment of self-worth through work. The pursuit of
alcohol and drugs establishes a persistent underculture,
subsisting by deviant means. Physical and sexual assault
have destroyed the emotional stability of many, particularly
children. The positive influence traditionally derived from intact
families, involved fathers, pro-active schools and the church,
has decreased to a great extent.

Sadly, the influence of Christians in the cities of our world has
diminished. Often Christians in urban areas have become
most obvious by their absence. Yet, God has a heart for the
city because He has a desire that all people would come
to know Him through His Son Jesus.

Practically, the illustration of light seems appropriate in this
context. Jesus is the "light of the world"; we are to "reflect His
light" to a world that's lost to darkness. When we think of
those who know nothing of God, or of those who have a
distorted understanding of who He is, we cannot and should
not be surprised at the depths of their baseness. Paul wrote
that the "god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers,
so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of
Christ, who is the image of God." In any city, man's bent
toward sin seems obvious. As we see these clear examples of
man living apart from God in the neighborhoods of our cities,
our reaction as Christians will dictate how we choose to
involve ourselves with our neighbors. Key to any effort of
ministry is an awareness that sin doesn't reside only "in the
city" or "in the suburbs" or "in Russia" or in Washington, D.
C." but in the hearts of all men and women. You and I lived for
a time estranged from God, lost in the abyss of our sin. We
needed to find the Jesus who died for us "while we were yet
sinners", His forgiveness, a relationship with God who made
us, and the power to live for Him daily.

Yes, in the city there are families headed by single females,
there are corner drug deals and crime, and there are noise,
violence, and apathy. Yet it seems that God can be most
evident where our needs are most apparent. God is using
Christians in the city now! Just as a small, green shoot finds
its way through concrete over time, so God is motivating
beauty to appear in the city.

Jesus said to His disciples: "You will receive power when the
Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses in
Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the

So what can we do as we think of the need to be involved with
God's work in the "Jerusalem" around us? First, we must
pray. We must see the city with God's eyes and heart.
Second, we must educate ourselves and learn what's
going on in the city. Who lives there? What happens there?
How has it changed over the years? Who is ministering there
now? Third, we must consider moving to the city to be light.
As a Missionary immerses him/herself in another culture,
so must the inner city worker. Fourth, we must find ways in
which to meaningfully share the gospel with city inhabitants.
Frankly, many in the city view the church and Christians as
irrelevant to the nitty-gritty issues of real life. In meeting real
needs in tangible ways, obvious physical and emotional needs
cannot be ignored. As Jesus ministered to the whole person,
so must we. As Jesus shared in the city, change will occur!
How can we become a part of God's work in the city?

(1) See Ellison and Maynard, Healing for the City, p. 13.

                      *** The role of neighborhoods***

What is the role of neighborhoods in the future that we
suspect will be different yet beyond us to know its exact

The neighborhoods must and shall be the focal point on which
the foundations of all Lehigh Valley communities should be set
in rock. The needs or identified
problems of neighborhoods can not be disregarded or else
cracks would develop that might weaken the secured
foundations of not only the community the neighborhood
comprised part of but also the entire region as well.

Allentown is a community that in this age of planned economic
development and unwanted industrial abandonment has
weathered certain difficulties. The City's rock foundations
have been shaken by forces that have proven to be
difficult to control. Remarkably, this rock foundation still
stands after many shocks but serious cracks do appear in its
foundations and if not corrected may breakdown into sand.

What must be done to ensure that the foundations of
Allentown remain firmly set in rock? The answer is simple. The
citizenry must be ever watchful for faults and cracks that
begin tearing down or ripping apart the foundations set in
rock; and public officials must be wise and quick in making
necessary seals and repairs, ever mindful of the fact that,
short-term solutions top any problem will lead to larger costs
later on and that work that is inadequate must be redone.

*** Who is to be faulted***

The election of Ronald Wilson Reagan as the 40th United
States President in 1980 and his resounding re-election in
1984 should cast a signal to local authorities that the days of
local government dependence upon federal government for
quick money for community projects had peaked if not over.
The city of Allentown and other regional political units, both in
Democratic and Republican Administrations, had depended
upon Washington time and again to finance programs and
studies, which in most cases may not have been done
otherwise. But what happens when the federal government
ends a program or the commission for the program expires?
The answer is simple --- If the program
was to continue it must be supported by local taxation efforts;
thus, we see the real potential for an additional burden for the
local taxpayer.

Historically, Allentown Mayor Joseph S. Daddona like other
politicos sought to transfer political accountability or blame (in
vicious terms) for his `1987 tax increase decision-
making on the broad shoulders of President Reagan and the
99th Congress.

Politically --- who is to be faulted? The federal government for
its siren lure of revenue enticements which entraps local
government or local government for its eagerness to fall prey
to the bait of revenue enticements in order to expand
its local bureaucracy but yet at the same time avoid or delay
local monetary accountability for the resultant expansion of
local budgets.

Whatever the reason, whenever local government goes to the
federal government for funds it gives up some of its powers of
decision-making and therefore, it lessens its control over its
own situation and fate.

One may ask whether the decision-making in regard to the
construction of Kline's Island would have been less short-
sighted had it not been particularly predicated on the
maximum funding the federal government allocated for the
project; and also, one may ask whether the policy of attrition
of personnel in departments and bureaus such as police, fire,
street cleaning, parks and recreation in the first Daddona
Administration would have been pursued had
not there been the pull of the federally funded Comprehensive
Employment Training Act (CETA) program.

The bottom line is that while the flux of federal money in a
community can have benefit, harm can also be done.
Communities in seeking what ever federal grants that remain
or are available should only go to the federal government for
help when there is a definite need that the local community
can not do itself; and this need should not be predicated
solely on the basis that federal grant money is available.

Hard as it may seem, local authorities should not be horrified
over the prospect of complete cutbacks in revenue sharing or
in reduced federal funding for community public work
projects. Rather, they should take stock and reflect how
their past actions of pursuing federal; or state grant money
with eyes that had no thought for anything but securing for
themselves temporary political gains has weakened the rock
foundations that communities like Allentown and the
Lehigh Valley were initially built upon.

It being suggested that should the 100th U.S. Congress or
future Congress's pursue a sudden or gradual reversal of the
98th and 99th Congress's legislative push toward reduced
federal subsidization of projects and programs at the
local level, it is our hope that local government units would
exercise self-control, restraint and common sense in seeking
available federal and state funds.

*** Heydt inherits the heat***

My colleague, Gordon D. Sharp Jr wrote the following article
which appeared in Volume 13 # 1 --- April 9, 1994 --- edition of
the Lehigh Valley Common Sense Herald:

"Allentown's new mayor, William Heydt, "didn't start the fire,"
as singer-songwriter Billy Joel might say, but he's beginning
to feel the heat generated by 20 years of his predecessor's
mismanagement. Mayor Heydt's biggest hot potato at the
moment is the huge sinkhole that started to swallow the
Corporate Plaza Building just north of Center Square on North
Seventh Street in the early morning hours of February 23,
1994. The hottest potato however, belongs to the
former administration of Joseph S. Daddona, during which
Corporate Plaza was constructed. Daddona was
conspicuously absent from the disaster site throughout,
despite the rich photo opportunities.

"Do you think it should have been built in the first place?"
asked a reporter from KYW-TV Channel 3, Philadelphia,
conducting man-on-the-street interviews at Sixth and Linden
three days after the disaster. The answer to that question is
painfully obvious in the pile of junk lying in the center of North
Seventh Street. It was more of a question than anything asked
by the local media, most notably the Morning Call, in the years
since the Corporate Plaza building went up in thelate 1980s
right until the present day. A Morning Call letter writer
suggested that the junkpile be left where it is rather then
cleaned up. The twisted girders and masonry debris blocking
Seventh Street could serve as a permanent monument
to 20 years of redevelopment mismanagement and Morning
Call silence on the peculiar way redevelopment has been done
by City Hall administrations in Allentown. For example, the
existence of a limestone base full of sinkholes has
been long known in the Lehigh Valley. But Corporate Plaza
foundations weren't built to bedrock as the foundations of the
Pennsylvania Power and Light Co. tower two blocks away
were some sixty years ago, and other downtown structures

It's an equally peculiar irony that the Corporate Plaza now
bears an eerie resemblance to another victim of Daddona
administration management skills, the General Harry C.
Trexler Memorial Park greenhouse, demolished in 1985 just
as Corporate Plaza was under construction. The mangled
metal, shattered glass and masonry of the greenhouse were
on a smaller scale, but similar in portent, for similar (political)

The scale of the next development disaster in Allentown is
impossible to judge at this point, but redevelopment
authorities seem determined to press on with the pattern. The
next phase is the proposed Century Plaza office complex
planned for the east side of Seventh Street directly across
from what was Corporate Plaza. The aging buildings on the
site were also affected by the same sinkhole and are now piles
of rubble, too. If Century Plaza is to stand longer
than the eight years of Corporate Plaza, the ultimate developer
will have to put a lot more money into bedrock foundations
than was put into Corporate Plaza, unless the Allentown
Economic Development Commission wants to court
another disaster. One of the surprises revealed by the
Corporate Plaza collapse was the fact that Allentown, not
alone among Lehigh Valley municipalities, has no ordinance
requiring bedrock foundations in sinkhole territory; this
despite the further fact that the Joint Planning Commission of
the Lehigh-Northampton Counties came up with a model
ordinance six years ago that would avoid such development
disgraces. The lack of ordinances all too often serves as an
excuse for city officials and developers to avoid common
sense. Allentown should adopt and enforce such an ordinance
before another office high-rise goes up downtown.

Another aspect the city might address is building design. The
very design of the Corporate Plaza structure may have served
as a contributory factor in its demise; in addition to the lack of
deep bedrock foundations, six of its seven stories were
cantilevered out over the Seventh Street sidewalk directly
above the sinkhole. The cantilevered portion was supported
by what appeared to be four sturdy brick pillars; "appeared to
be," because as the building sagged and masonry broke away
from the "pillars," the bricks were revealed as little more
than cosmetic covering around only four slim single steel
girders, all that supported that side of the building.

That's the kind of planning wisdom that should be avoided in
the future. Another kind of planning wisdom that should be
avoided is the virtual obsession of city development officials
for defining progress in narrow terms of building more and
more unfillable office space in midtown. The $9.5 million
Corporate Plaza, supposedly "the key to a center city
renaissance," was largely vacant until comparatively recently
when government agencies such as the Allentown Parking
Authority and State Police and others as friendly to City Hall
were moved in. The latter included the firm of Former City
solicitor Thomas Anewalt, also former campaign manager for
former mayor Joseph S. Daddona, under whose regime
Corporate Plaza went up.

Corporate Plaza might have been the biggest embarrassment
for the long- running Daddona administration, but fortunately
for Daddona and company the disaster occurred three months
after he left office, falling instead on his successor, mayor
William Heydt. If Daddona hadn't run for a third term in 1985,
the disaster may not have happened at all. Hopefully Heydt will
have the wisdom to avoid the pitfalls, literally and figuratively,
of downtown development into which the previous
administration led him and the city. Unfortunately, Heydt
seems headed into the same tunnel vision by retaining the
same director of development, Donald Bernhard, who
apparently slept as watchdog on Corporate Plaza. But so did
The Morning Call. In all the years of the Daddona
Administration, The Call failed to question downtown
development practices either in editorials or news articles one-
tenth as much as The Common Sense Herald. That's one
reason Corporate Plaza ultimately came down. In a sense,
what happened there in the early morning hours of February
23, 1994 is a microcosm of what happened to Allentown during
the past two decades. There has been little "progress" and
much lost in that time. And much remains to be lost if past
and present patterns continue.

The tenants who were forced out of Corporate Plaza and other
nearby buildings aren't the only victims of this debacle; in a
sense, the whole city of Allentown, all its citizens, are victims
of bad planning and lack of foresight on the part of city
officials who should have known better, but didn't. The costs
in terms of lost tax revenues, lost business, lost futures, to
say nothing of the mere cost of cleaning up the aftermath of
the collapse, run into millions and, in great part, are
ultimately incalculable. Yet The Morning Call and the
Downtown Improvement District almost buried these very
legitimate human concerns, except for an
article here and there and a Red Cross donation, by whipping
up a bread-and- circuses atmosphere attendant on the
dynamiting of this showpiece of the downtown renaissance.
Very clever, but it won't mean anything if the same
development patterns continue. ("All together now, a-one, a-
two, a-three. Wunnafull, Wunnafull! Wunnafull") Continued
drum-beating by The Call, DIDA or AEDC for the same kind of
office building ratables won't make up for the decline
they spell for Center City. Hopefully the Corporate Plaza
building in its brief lifetime paid more in taxes than it will cost
to clean up, but so far we haven't seen any numbers on it
from The Morning Call, and we're not going to do their
homework for them. One thing is certain --- there's no sense
in building further office buildings over center city sinkholes
just so DIDA can eventually sell tickets to their dynamite
demolition. But in this town, don't take any bets on it.

Whatever the long-term costs to the business people and
residents affected by the tragic end of Corporate Plaza,
immediate estimates for the cleanup hover in the $2 million
area. These include over a million for demolition of nearby
buildings also damaged by the sinkhole, two of which were set
for demolition anyway as the Century Plaza site, and
restoration of utilities. Mayor Heydt is turning to state
legislators for help, which ultimately means taxpayers' money.

The taxpayers' money in the form of a $1.5 million Urban
Development Action Grant (UDAG) has gone down the drain
with a building that may not have been properly constructed.
David Novosat, identified in The Morning Call on February
24 as chief building inspector when Corporate Plaza was
planned, predicted the building would stand. : " I'm rooting for
the building," Novosat was quoted as saying. Shortly before
the plunger was pushed, the north side separated from
the rest of the building and crumbled to the ground. Novosat
was named fire chief by then mayor Daddona when former
Chief Ernie Toth now a city councilman, retired several years

State Representative Charles Dent, R-132nd District,
responded enthusiastically when Mayor Heydt appealed for
state aid to help pay cleanup costs for Corporate Plaza.
Details remained to be hammered out, but Dent predicted the
state contribution would be "considerable" (Morning Call,
March 25, 1994, p. A9). This raises a perfectly legitimate
Question: why should Pennsylvania taxpayers foot the bill for
possible incompetence, malfeasance, nonfeasance or
misfeasance on the part of public officials possibly
responsible for the Corporate Plaza collapse? Proper
measures could (and quite probably should) have been taken
to prevent what some may call an "act of God," but as in many
things, God really isn't to blame for a lack of proper
foundations, however more expensive their installation might
have been. Reportedly, both the State House
and Senate are mulling bills to fund a "sinkhole damage
assistance program." This action, whatever its good
intentions, will effectively lock in the taxpayer as
the final payer for disasters over which he has no control, but
which may largely be due to preventable human error on the
part of public and private officials. Presumably hearings will
be held on these bills before a vote. Rep. Dent, meanwhile,
along with his legislative colleagues, might consider hearings
into the Corporate Plaza disaster and legislation requiring test
borings and proper (not merely "adequate") foundations for
high-rise buildings. The developer, after all, apparently
stretched the outer limits of the parameters on the Corporate
Plaza building in avoiding bedrock foundations, And except for
the grace of God, the collapse might have come at a later hour
when occupants were at their regular posts inside the
building, leading to possible injury or even loss of life.

Our elected legislators might try showing as much interest in
saving taxpayers' money by preventing future Corporate
Plazas as they do in making the taxpayers pay for it after the
disaster. If Mayor Heydt and our area legislators allow the
present development practices to continue, they may not have
started the fire, but they would certainly be feeding it.

*** Seeking wisdom and understanding***

Let this writer's appeal for justice in decision-making serve as
a guide that all public officials should practice.

In a Presentation made before Lehigh County Commissioners
February 20,1982 ... Presentation meant to be aid to
Commissioners in deciding a wastewater treatment issue that
was still pending as most of this study was put together in its
earlier form.)

" Faced with an upcoming proposal from the County Executive
(David Bausch) in regard to the complex wastewater issue, the
County Commissioners perhaps, seek wisdom and
understanding as a guide toward making a responsible

The importance of this upcoming vote may not be lost upon
the Commissioners, and each County commissioner may be
apprehensive in regards to what solid base of knowledge he
or she possesses concerning the issue. Being proud and self-
willed, few of the Commissioners will publicly acknowledge the
important fact that the issue will overwhelm them spiritually,
emotionally, and intellectually. Most of them will depend on
what the Office of the County Executive will tell them, or what
its present Engineering Consultant James M. Montgomery or
their colleagues might say concerning the issue,
never questioning the nature or reference point from which
each individual expresses his or her opinion.

The Commissioners do offer opportunity to the public to give
their insights ...But do they listen? And, why do they protect
their consultants from the difficult questions of the public?
Are consultants always right and the public always
uneducated and naive on any question? Is the practice of
allowing the public to speak just a formality for the historic
record and a government illusion of its concern for the
average citizen when government actually represents a few
industrial organizations and their wealth-seeking clients?

Where then does the Commissioners collective wisdom come
from and where is their source of understanding? If their
wisdom comes from the words of man via the accumulation of
knowledge derived from the sum total of man's economic,
social, political and religious institutions, this still might not be
adequate if they failed to consolidate this knowledge through
personal experience and inner meditation with God. If their
understanding comes from enjoying the ways of the world and
its tendency toward eliciting false truths and selfishness, then
the Commissioners can not comprehend understanding
either. For the fear of the Lord is wisdom and to turn away
from evil is understanding.

What we know about the wastewater treatment issue is that it
was brought about by the drive for economic development
that possessed all municipalities within the Metropolitan
Wastewater Treatment District for greater part of twenty-
five or so years. Whether Arthur L. Wiesenberger was the
prime mover in this concerted action or the opportunist is a
subject that should be studied. But we do know what
environmental consequences Wiesenberger's numerous ill-
designed projects wreaked havoc to the Lehigh Valley for the
sake of future economic development.

Yes, jobs are important for the economic well being of the
Lehigh Valley. But if we destroy and misuse what God has
lovingly blessed us with, then we should not be proud of what
economic development accomplishments we achieve.
Instead of producing a utopian situation, we will set the stage
for future economic abandonment when the excellent soil,
water, and air conditions God has blessed us with are spoiled
beyond agricultural, recreational, and industrial usefulness.

Within the past year I have been quoted as calling for a
Community constructed on foundations set in rock. Well, the
only way this community can come about in both Allentown
and Lehigh Valley is if our elected government leaders
renounce the practices, influences, and contacts that
produced the wastewater issue in the first place and begin
new directions."

(Please note --- in this endeavor, our elected leaders can be
successful if theypursue their "New Directions" guided by
eternal principles set in strong unbreakable foundations. We
can only hope that the proposed construction of a Lehigh
County Sewage Pre-treatment facility on a 56.42 acre tract of
cultivated land located in the southeast corner of the
intersection of Pennsylvania 100 and Snowdrift Road in the
township of Upper Macungie, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania
was guided by such principles. This proposed pre-treatment
plant, then in design stage, .was planned as a replacement
facility to a former Lehigh County Authority Sewage Pre-
Treatment Plant designed by Arthur L. Wiesenberger that
failed. We can add that both the former pre-treatment facility
and the newer pre-treatment facility have been designed and
is currently designed to provide initial treatment of the wastes
from certain industrial plants located in western Lehigh
County ---- primarily the Stroh Brewery and the Kraft
Cheese Plant. But a colleague of mine, Harry Forker has
asserted that a full- treatment facility serving these industries
would have been more cost-effective and more practical for
the long-range interest of Lehigh County.