CLEARFIELD – The Lawrence Township Supervisors approved an increase of sewage rates at last night’s meeting. The rate increase of $2.50 will take effect Jan. 1, changing the current rate of $4 per 1,000 gallons to $6.50 per 1,000 gallons.
Supervisor Bill Lawhead said it was with great regret and much deliberation that the supervisors had to take this action.
Solicitor James Naddeo reported receiving a letter from Clearfield Municipal Authority’s solicitor, John Ryan, regarding the proposed resolution amending the split on state Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) imposed fines for the storm water infiltration on the sewage system. Naddeo read the letter, which stated that CMA had completed televising of their sewage lines in question, and concluded that there is no infiltration in CMA lines. Therefore, CMA is rejecting the ordinance based on these findings and until the Sanitary Sewer Overflow is permanently closed.
The supervisors agreed they aren’t satisfied with CMA’s conclusions. Supervisor Glenn Johnston said the televising of lines (camera inspection) isn’t conclusive to determine infiltration. He said the only conclusive way to determine if there is or is not infiltration is to inspect in wet conditions. But when it’s wet, he said, the pipes are running full and aren’t able to be inspected.
Johnston said there have been no fines yet instituted from the DEP for sanitary sewage overflow resulting from storm water infiltration. He said any fines would be CMA’s to deal with. He also noted that the televised testing results wouldn’t hold up in a court determination unless they are proven to be wet weather inspections.
Supervisor Ed Brown said the best option is to get the new sewage collection lines constructed and resolve the problem of infiltration altogether.
Lawhead said a meeting is set for Friday with township engineers, Stiffler McGraw & Associates Inc. and the inspector from Pennsafe Building Inspection Services LLC of DuBois regarding the planned Phase III sewage line project. He said the township should be ready to go to bid by Feb. 1 for the construction project, and be ready to start construction in spring.
Naddeo said the loan proposal from Clearfield Bank and Trust for the sewage project is the best. He said that, while the township is still within the 60-day time limit for accepting the proposal, CB&T did agree to extend the loan process time frame.
Johnston said they only have engineering costs and fees owed on the project thus far, but financing will need to be in place by February when they are ready to pursue bids.
The supervisors also discussed a request from a property owner regarding the township’s willingness to vacate alleys in Weaverhurst Addition. It was noted that the alleys in question were never opened or incorporated into the township’s road system and were only used for right-of-way easements for the sewage system. Naddeo advised that there is nothing to vacate since the alleys were never opened, but the easements will continue to be in effect for the sewage system.
Secretary Barbara Schaffner reported receiving notification from the county Elections Office that Roger Read was elected as a write-in to the two-year term as auditor for the township.
In other business, the supervisors approved:
- To adopt the tree ordinance as advertised. (Naddeo explained the ordinance amplifies the township code already in existence, but is more understandable and includes enforcement and fine options.)
- Sewer exonerations for two property owners to correct surcharges improperly levied.
- To renew the existing Auto and Liability Insurance coverage through Boyles Insurance Inc.
- To reappoint William Thompson for another term on the Lawrence Township Planning Commission.
- To pay bills totaling $44,035.17.
The supervisors adjourned to executive session to discuss the police contract, with no plans to re-adjourn.