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Whitehall Township OK's plans for Wawa at Whitehall Mall

Wawa plans
Phil Gianficaro
Renderings of Wawa planned for MacArthur and Mickley roads in Whitehall Township.

WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. — Township customers of Wawa will be able to double their pleasure sometime next year.

The township Board of Commissioners on Monday granted preliminary final approval for construction of a Wawa at MacArthur and Mickley roads.

The popular convenience store is planned as a 6,000-square-foot facility with a front and back entrance and exit. It would include 16 fuel stations and be open 24 hours daily.

Construction is scheduled to begin late this year.

“I’m 100 percent in favor of this going in, but I see problems with this [traffic issue]."
Robert H. Piligian, Whitehall Township Commissioner

The new Wawa will be at the former Sears Auto Center at Whitehall Mall, which has been vacant since late 2020 and will be demolished. The Sears business was among the mall’s original tenants when it opened in 1966.

Commissioner Robert Piligian voiced concerns about traffic patterns near the proposed Wawa.

Township engineer Frank Clark suggested a temporary banner alerting motorists to use the Grave Street jug handle to access the Wawa.

Piligian argued a permanent sign or banner would be a more effective remedy at the intersection.

“I’m 100 percent in favor of this going in, but I see problems with this" traffic issue, Piligian said.

Wawa representatives at the meeting pledged to work with the township to address the traffic situation.

The proposed Wawa would be across the parking lot from Floor & Decor, which took the place of the former Sears store in the transitioning mall and opened for business in December.

The next step in the Wawa project will be for the developer to submit applications relative to sidewalks, sewers and stormwater.

The Wawa project received preliminary land redevelopment approval by Whitehall planners in April.

Another Wawa is located at 2895 MacArthur Road, less than two miles from the proposed Wawa.

Subdivision project moves forward

Also Monday, Fullerton Terminals LLC got supervisors' approval for a major subdivision plan at 2451 Main St.

A deferral request for the required installation of 840 feet of curbs and sidewalk along Range Road frontage of that address was granted.

The request was made by Don Miller, the applicant, who asked that a deferral be approved until the land development plan is submitted to the township.

The developer is required to make arrangements with the Whitehall Coplay Sewer Authority and Northampton Borough for the water and sanitary sewer distribution services, commissions said.

Coplay Creek restoration

An ordinance authorizing the acceptance of a proposal for Phase 2 of the Coplay Creek Stream Bank Restoration Project also was approved.

The project involves the stabilization of Coplay Creek by Whitehall Township’s Pollution Reduction Plan.

Tasks included design work, bidding, permitting, construction oversight and public involvement.

American Engineers Group, of Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County, served as the prime consultant for the assignment and was responsible for providing all services to the township.

The township has budgeted $250,000 for the project from the Capital Reserve Fund. A $149,464 grant from the Watershed Restoration Program has been secured to partially subsidize the cost.

Bids for the project will be opened Thursday.

Tax collector

The board is considering hiring H.A. Berkheimer Tax Administrators, of Norristown, Montgomery County, to collect the business privilege and mercantile tax in the township beginning in 2025.

Jim Hunt, director of sales and client services at Berkheimer, made a proposal to the board. He said the contract is typically for three years and would include collection of school district taxes.

Berkheimer is contracted with just more than 200 municipalities in the state, including in Lehigh and Northampton counties.

Divers honored

Lehigh County Coroner Daniel Buglio presented certificates of appreciation to members of the Whitehall Township Fire Department dive team who located several bags of human remains of a man killed and dismembered in a quarry in Washington Township, Lehigh County last month.

The divers are Craig Hanzl, Bruce Bray, Michael Martinko, John Rackus and Joe Shambo.

“We wanted to publicly acknowledge the divers who have been invaluable in this case,” Buglio said.

The deceased, David Hittinger, 37, of Slatington, was bludgeoned to death with a hammer and then dismembered.

Joshua D. Moser, 33, also of Slatington, is charged in the killing.