Lehigh County commissioners voted to prioritize expending in excess of $140 million on improvement initiatives about the future 5 decades throughout a Wednesday meeting, a plan that will possible appear with a upcoming tax hike.

The board voted unanimously for the motion with tiny dialogue.

The jobs are component of Lehigh County’s 2023-27 capital strategy, a five-year directional system. Though it contains amounts the tasks are anticipated to expense, it shouldn’t be confused with a price range, in which the county allocates money in 1-yr paying ideas. Nonetheless, those budgets could mirror the money plan priorities, county Common Solutions Director Rick Molchany mentioned.

“I requested the department heads to search in advance, not just five a long time ahead, but to appear way ahead so we can start off to anticipate significant paying out and cash arranging for you as you’re acquiring your tax strategies,” Molchany told officers July 6.

Cedarbrook nursing residence in South Whitehall Township would be in line for $31 million far more of rehabilitation do the job under the investing priorities. Also on the checklist are updates to the 911 communications system, farmland preservation and much more bridge repairs:

  • The prepare would enhance what is now an analog 911 radio technique for the county to a absolutely digital one particular. The projected expense is $46 million. This alter would most likely go into impact by 2025, if authorised.
  • The program dedicates $14.5 million to farmland preservation, serving to guard in opposition to continued warehouse advancement in the county. To day, almost 27,000 acres of Lehigh County farmland and 381 farms have been preserved. The county desires to protected 2,000 acres more than the upcoming 5 years.
  • County-owned bridges would acquire practically $9 million in routine maintenance or minor rehabilitation above the future various a long time to maintain them open.

To meet up with the calls for of its jobs, the county would possible will need to raise taxes around each individual 10 years, Molchany claimed, however unknowns this sort of as opportunity job delays make it tricky to decide when taxes could be lifted and by how a lot.

In the course of the to start with examining of the adoption July 13, Commissioner Jeffrey Dutt mentioned: “I consider those desires that were being stated in the Funds Approach are incredibly vital, and I respect the get the job done that we have to do [with the projects].”