Municipal Authority Hears Update on Waterline Extension, Status of Sewer Overflows

CLEARFIELD – Clearfield Municipal Authority heard updates on a waterline extension and the status of Sanitary Sewer Overflows and Combined Sewer Overflows in Lawrence Township and Clearfield Borough.

Engineer Jim Balliet was not present but had submitted a report, which Manager John Williams elaborated on.  Design on the Glen Richey/Clover Hill waterline extension project was started by Gwin, Dobson & Foreman Inc. for customers along Glen Richey Highway, Clover Hill Road, Carbon Mine Road and Krebs Highway. 

Many of these people have been without good water for many years, and CMA has been looking for a way to extend the lines.  Recently a grant was obtained with the help of Rep. Tommy Sankey’s office in Clearfield to study the possibility and design the project in order to see what would be involved.

Chairman Russ Triponey said they are very thankful to Bill Armstrong from Sankey’s office, who has worked for over a year to help get funding for the project through the Department of Environmental Protection and Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation. 

The board also approved signing an agreement between CMA and DEP and BAMR spelling out rights and responsibilities for this phase of the project, pending review of the manager and engineer.

Williams also reported on the final pieces of the new wastewater treatment facility and said they are pushing to have it completed by the end of April, which is the deadline DEP set. 

Williams explained that even with the original contractor defaulting on the project, DEP would not give them an extension on the timeline and insisted the project needed to be completed by April. It appears Lobar will do this, except for minor punch-list items that can be completed later.

Williams and Balliet met with DEP on March 2 to discuss the CSO long-term control plan and the Montgomery Run SSO corrective action plan.  After this meeting, Williams and Balliet met with the engineers for the borough and township to discuss the schedules for closing the two overflows. 

The borough has already put out their project for bid.  The township’s plan initially was to construct a holding tank to help control the overflow, but DEP rejected the plan and is insisting the township come up with a plan to track down the inflow and infiltration to the system and correct it.  The township has until August to come up with a plan.

Triponey noted that the whole situation is complicated and not one of the three entities – the borough, township or CMA – can say their portion is fine and point to the others as the problem.  He said they all need to work together to track down the problem, and he added that other municipalities across the state are facing the same issue constantly.

The board also discussed the possibility of purchasing a backhoe for the authority.  The authority had signed an agreement with a contractor on and as-needed basis, but then learned that he did not have the equipment he said he did, and so cancelled the contract and went with the next lowest bidder.  The board has discussed the possibility of purchasing a backhoe and that it might be more cost effective.

The plan is to rent a backhoe for a month during the summer and determine the costs of on-call service, renting versus owning.  Williams is to then bring the numbers to the board for discussion.

One of the employees on hand spoke up and said it seemed unfair to him that the board is telling the employees that there is no money for health insurance or other things in contract negotiations and then turning around and purchasing equipment. 

Some board members stated the accounts and money availability are different, and at that point, Triponey instructed Williams to measure all the costs involved before bringing them to the board.

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