New baseball field, upgrades on table for Jaindl project
Two baseball fields are better than one — that’s the pitch that Lehigh Township will consider as part of its deal with developer David Jaindl to expand its wastewater treatment plant and make way for his resort destination.
Township supervisors elected to table a decision on Jaindl’s proposal to apply recreation fees associated with the second development phase of his Lehigh Valley Resort & Spa to the construction of a new baseball field at Delps Park to make up for the 2 acres that the Lehigh Township Municipal Authority will take from Indian Trail Park in order to expand its existing plant.
Rec fees would only go toward construction of the new field, Jaindl told the board during its meeting Tuesday.
The township will convey the 2 acres to the authority, which would then lease the land back to the township in order to continue using the baseball field until a portion of that land is required for the expansion, with Jaindl installing fencing to separate the recreation area from the plant.
Ultimately they will be left with a smaller baseball field at Indian Trail Park scaled for Little League play, and an adult-size field at Delps Park, which Jaindl will provide.
“When the dust settles you’ll have two ballfields when you used to have one,” said Joe Zator, an attorney representing Jaindl.
As part of the deal, Jaindl said he’s willing to work with the township to construct new toilet facilities at Delps Park and provide upgrades to the children’s playground area at Indian Trail Park.
“More modern, safer equipment,” he said.
He has also agreed to fund $280,000 in facility upgrades at the authority plant beyond what is needed for his future resort at 300 Cherryville Road.
“We’re agreeing to do $280,000 worth of improvements that have nothing to do with our project at all,” said Fred Ebert, Jaindl’s engineering consultant.
Closing on the agreement of sale would be contingent upon both the municipal authority and township being satisfied that all agreed-upon conditions have been met, said Zator.
Expansion of the plant is necessary to handle wastewater from Jaindl’s resort as well as to convey potable water there through the City of Bethlehem.
That will necessitate building a generator and booster pump station during the initial development phase of the resort, which includes transforming the seminary into an event center, restaurant, and 206-room hotel, along with converting the convent into a spa.
Kevin Duffy is a freelance writer for The Morning Call.