Lower Macungie Township, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2009)|
|Lower Macungie Township|
A farm in Hilltop Road in the township
|Elevation||417 ft (127.1 m)|
|Area||22.6 sq mi (58.5 km2)|
|- land||22.6 sq mi (59 km2)|
|- water||0.0 sq mi (0 km2), 0%|
|Density||851.5 / sq mi (328.8 / km2)|
|- summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
Lower Macungie Township is a township in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is a suburb of Allentown, Pennsylvania, in the Lehigh Valley region of the state. As of the 2010 Census, the township had a population of 30,633.
Lower Macungie is the fastest growing area of Pennsylvania in terms of total population growth and is undergoing rapid suburbanization. Some fast-growing areas of the township include Ancient Oaks, Brandywine Village, Brandywine Village 2, Hills at Lock Ridge, Millbrook Farms, and Shepherd Hills. Its villages include East Texas, Minesite, New Hensingersville (also in Berks County,) Weilersville, and Wescosville.
Lower Macungie Township's growth has been attributed to its proximity to major employment centers, and strategic access to major transportation corridors. At 22.6 square miles, the Township is one of the largest municipalities in the Lehigh Valley. Lower Macungie is also the fastest-growing municipality in the Lehigh Valley. Between 2000 and 2010, the Township’s population grew 60 percent.
In November 2007, township voters elected to make Lower Macungie a first class township in 2008.
Before European settlement, the area that now includes Lower Macungie Township was inhabited by people who called themselves the Lenni Lenape. They hunted here, and are known to have had a few small seasonal villages and jasper workshops close to streams and springs. Jasper from their quarries outside present-day Macungie and Vera Cruz was traded far and wide across North America.
The name “Macungie” is derived from a Native American word meaning bear swamp, or place where bears feed. The early Pennsylvania German settlers took land that had been hunting grounds for the Lenni Lenape, adopting the Lenape name for the area. They cleared the scrub and forests, planted crops, raised livestock, and continually expanded their holdings. Most of what they produced fed their families and their hired and indentured servants, but some crops were grown for their cash value. Eventually they raised enough money to buy land warrants in Philadelphia from the proprietors, William Penn’s heirs.  The Rodale Organic Gardening Experimental Farm was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 22.6 square miles (58.5 km²). Little Lehigh Creek and Swabia Creek drain and wind through the township from sources in Berks and Lehigh Counties. Swabia Creek joins Little Lehigh Creek in the township and the latter drains into the Lehigh River in Allentown. South Mountain crosses the township's southern-most corner, just south of the boroughs of Alburtis and Macungie.
Lower Macungie's main north-to-south roads are Route 100, Spring Creek Road, Brookside Road, and Route 29 in the extreme east. Main east-to-west roads include U.S. Route 222 (which interchanges with Interstate 78/Highway 309 in the extreme north,) Lower Macungie Road, and Mountain Road in the south.
- Upper Macungie Township (northwest)
- South Whitehall Township (north)
- Salisbury Township (northeast)
- Emmaus (east)
- Upper Milford Township (southeast)
- Macungie (southeast)
- Alburtis (surrounded by Lower Macungie)
- Hereford Township, Berks County (southwest)
- Longswamp Township, Berks County (southwest)
At the 2000 census, there were 19,220 people, 7,158 households and 5,611 families residing in the township. The population density was 851.5 per square mile (328.8/km²) There were 7,405 housing units at an average density of 328.1/sq mi (126.7/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 93.77% White, 0.58% African American, 0.11% Native American, 4.31% Asian, 0.48% from other races, and 0.74% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.52% of the population.
There were 7,158 households of which 34.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.2% were married couples living together, 6.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.6% were non-families. 18.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.03.
Age distribution was 25.2% under the age of 18, 5.3% from 18 to 24, 26.1% from 25 to 44, 29.3% from 45 to 64, and 14.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 95.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.7 males.
The median household income was $69,592, and the median family income was $78,695. Males had a median income of $60,325 versus $33,145 for females. The per capita income for the township was $30,202. About 1.3% of families and 2.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.1% of those under age 18 and 2.1% of those age 65 or over.
Government and politics
- State Representative Ryan Mackenzie, Republican, 134th district
- State Senator Pat Browne, Republican, 16th district
- US Representative Charlie Dent, Republican, 15th district
As a Township of the First Class under Pennsylvania law, Lower Macungie Township has a five-member Board of Commissioners, and a Treasurer. In accordance with the PA First Class Township Code, the Lower Macungie Township Board of Commissioners is charged with the general governance of the Township. The Board serves as the legislative body of the township, setting policy, enacting ordinances and resolutions, adopting budgets and levying taxes.
The duties of the Treasurer include, among other responsibilities, the task of collecting certain real estate taxes, a duty which had formerly been performed by the Tax Collector, when the township was a Township of the Second Class. The voters changed the form of government in 2007. The Township Manager is appointed by the Commissioners.
The current officials are:
Board of Commissioners:
- Ryan T. Conrad, President (Republican, term Expires 12/31/2017)
- Brian P. Higgins, Vice President (Republican, term Expires 12/31/2017)
- Ron W. Beitler (Republican, term Expires 12/31/2017)
- Douglas H. Brown (Republican, term Expires 12/31/2015)
- James Lancsek (Republican, term Expires 12/31/2015)
- Patricia W. Vassilaros (Republican)
Township Manager (appointed):
- Bruce Fosselman
Director of Planning/Community Development:
- Sara Pandl
Occupational Manager (Republican):
- Cory DeFrambroise
The Township is served by the East Penn School District, of which it constitutes the majority of the population.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.