DUBOIS – DuBois City and Sandy Township officials are exploring the possibility of a joint water and sewer authority.
DuBois City Councilman Ed Walsh, City Engineer Chris Nasuti and City Redevelopment Director Joe Mitchell were present at Monday night’s Sandy Township meetings.
“We had a very good meeting with the city,” said Supervisor Kevin Salandra. He, along with Supervisor Mark Sullivan, provided an update from the township and city sub-committee meeting.
According to Salandra, DuBois City officials appeared to be excited about the possibilities. Walsh also indicated that the meeting was an eye opener.
However, it was noted that more research is necessary by both Sandy Township and DuBois City officials before any further action can be taken.
“If the authority doesn’t work, we did talk to the city, and they would be willing to work with a long-term agreement with [Sandy Township],” explained Salandra.
The supervisors subsequently voted to approve a request to take part in a follow-up meeting with DuBois City officials.
“As a committee, we didn’t feel we had enough facts in an hour-and-a-half meeting to make a concrete decision,” said Sullivan.
With regards to questions about the organizational set-up of the proposed joint authority, Salandra provided three options:
- Power could be divided by percentage of assets contributed.
- Power could be divided by percentage of flow.
- Power could be divided by percentage of users.
Salandra said they were already leaning against the first two options. So far as the assets, committee members said they could either have both municipalities sell their systems to the joint authority or they could lease the physical assets to the authority.
When Supervisor Dave Sylvis asked about possibly including Sykesville and Falls Creek, which are two other municipal customers of DuBois City, Salandra indicated that the committee had considered them.
The committee, he said, would like to iron out details between Sandy Township and DuBois City officials first.
Salandra also addressed some concerns and corrected information presented during previous meetings.
He said there was doubt cast with regards to the long-term viability and legal status of open air reservoirs. According to Salandra, open reservoirs are still allowed and may be even better than wells as a water source.
Additionally, he said there were concerns raised about the water tunnel between the reservoir and both the township and city, if seismic activity would occur.
Salandra said he’d learned that there is an eight-inch water line that serves as a back-up connection to the reservoir. He added that DuBois City has drilled several wells should both the tunnel and pipe fail.
He also indicated that despite claims you can walk across the reservoir at times due to drought and lack of dredging, the city’s water reservoir can also get up to 40-feet deep at times.