1. A new police force in Upper Macungie -- one for the township to call its own.
The newly created Upper Macungie police department, under the direction of new Chief Edgardo A. Colón, rolled out shortly after 6 on New Year's Eve, following a short prayer by the Rev. Mark Plaushin, executive director of public safety, security and health at DeSales University. The Berks-Lehigh police department, of which Upper Macungie was a part, has disbanded. The new department's phone number is 484-661-5911. For emergencies, call 911.
2. A new trash hauler.
Waste Management replaces Raritan Valley in trash collection. As a result of the new contract, township residents will see their garbage and recycling fees decline by $60.
All complaints or missed pickups should be directed to Waste Management at 1-800-869-5566.
Upper Macungie Township now is "Single Stream Recycling," meaing you do not have to separate recyclable items. More information is available on the township web site.
3. A new employer -- Ocean Spray.
Ocean Spray's new 225,000-square-foot bottling facility has been taking shape between Schantz Road and Route 100 in Upper Macungie. The new plant is expected to bring 165 jobs into the Lehigh Valley as the company moves its operations to the township from Bordentown, N.J.
4. New development.
Plans were submitted Monday, Dec. 31, for a Motel 6 at Tilghman Street near Memorial Road, according to the township's Director of Community Development Ken Molony. Also, Orograin Bakeries Manufacturing broke ground several weeks ago on a 220,000-square-foot facility near the Ocean Spray plant, he said. Other proposals include housing, an assisted living facility, restaurant and retail.
5. A new contract for Parkland School District’s support staff?
Contract negotiations are expected to get under way this month between the district administration and its support staff union – which represents food service personnel, teachers assistants, bus drivers and maintenance workers.The administration is expected to revisit the issue of a wage freeze, following discussions in 2012.