CLEARFIELD – A letter from Lawrence Township’s solicitor was read at Tuesday’s Clearfield Municipal Authority meeting.
The letter is a result of discussion held at the township meeting Aug. 7 where the supervisors voted to ask CMA to take over the sanitary sewer lines in the township.
Board President Russ Triponey noted that only a month before the supervisors were asking for the resignations of himself and township representative Greg Dixon.
But now they have decided that they would rather the authority take over the lines. “There is a lot of work to do before this can happen,” he said.
The authority board later went into executive session to discuss the matter, as it is now a pending legal matter, and afterwards Manager John Williams gave a statement on behalf of the board.
He said that CMA will do due diligence in regards to considering taking over the township’s lines, looking at finances, legal issues and also talking with the state Department of Environmental Protection.
A question was raised about whether the authority would then have to look at taking over the borough’s lines as well, and the board agreed that it would probably be something that would be raised.
Engineer Jim Balliet of Gwin, Dobson and Foreman engineers of Altoona said that it is not unusual for an authority to take over the lines of one municipality but not another, depending on the circumstances.
Triponey confirmed also that the township has raised the matter some years before. “They asked us to do this a few years ago and we said, ‘Get your act together and we will,’ and they didn’t and we didn’t.”
He added that the authority has worked for over 20 years to do the best they can for their customers for the least amount of money. He said they have to do whatever they need to in order to make DEP happy, and ultimately make the federal Environmental Protection Agency happy.
The board briefly discussed the sanitary sewer overflow in Hyde when Balliet reported that a plan to close the SSO was submitted to DEP, in anticipation of closing when the inflow and infiltration problems in the township are taken care of. The deadline to close the SSO is Sept. 1 and Balliet said they want to be prepared.
When asked what would happen if they closed it now, Balliet said that, if a rain event that would normally result in the SSO being opened occurred, and the valve wasn’t opened, it would flood the pump station near the car wash.
However, if the valve is opened, then the water would flow back and blow out the man holes and, eventually, the excess water would go into the river.