CLEARFIELD – The Lawrence Township Supervisors reviewed several items regarding the proposed Phase III sewage project at last night’s meeting.
Lawrence Township Solicitor James Naddeo reported receiving information from Stiffler, McGraw and Associates Inc., the township’s engineering firm, regarding the projected costs of the Phase III sewage project. He said the engineers estimate the project costs conservatively at $2.3 million. Naddeo said with this information, the supervisors can authorize him to begin canvassing banks for bids on a tax-free loan.
Supervisor Chairman Glenn Johnston said the township has decided to fund the project with bank loans because PennVEST funding is primarily going to fund sewage plant projects. He said the costs of pursuing a loan through PennVEST is $30,000 minimum, with very slim chances of loan approval, whereas pursuing a tax-free loan and bidding for the best rates will not require the advance expenses.
The supervisors agreed to authorize Naddeo to begin canvassing banks to solicit bids for funding, on a floating scale between $2.3 million to $3 million.
Johnston said funding the project with bank loans is a faster process, which will allow the project to go to bid sooner, and right now project costs are low, which will save even more money.
Naddeo presented a resolution prepared for the supervisors to pass, regarding the sharing of any fines for Montgomery Run storm water infiltration into the Clearfield Municipal Authority sewage system. The shared percentages (80 percent for the township and 20 percent for the CMA) are based on the sewage system flow charts that monitor the source of the infiltration.
Supervisor Ed Brown declined to vote on the resolution, saying he would wait for updated flow monitoring results. He said he supports the township paying its fair share but believes the determinations are flawed, and the percentages should be closer to 50/50.
In light of the absence of Supervisor William Lawhead, it was agreed to postpone the vote on the resolution until compilation of updated flow charts are received.
Brown reported that one requirement of the upcoming sewage project is a house-by-house physical inspection for each unit on the sewage system. He said the inspections will cost the township approximately $40 per unit per visit.
Brown stressed the inspections will be required. He cautions the public in the sewage service area that if anything in their homes needs correcting, now is the time to correct it. If any problems are discovered in the inspections, it could lead to fines and costs for additional inspections, as well as costs for correcting the problem.
Brown said the items that would be examined in the sewage unit inspections include exterior grade, roof, basement and sump drains and foundations, primarily looking for sources of storm water infiltration.
The supervisors suggest such corrections be completed before the final designs are approved for the Phase III project.