MILL HALL — Greg Mayes, a representative of Suburban Water Authority, attended Bald Eagle Township’s monthly supervisor meeting with more information regarding a potential water main extension in the township.
For the past few months, slow progress has been made between the county, township and Suburban Water to extend a water main in the township to residents with old wells.
Mayes announced that Suburban had an engineering study done to look at where they would potentially run the water main. Along with the water main, he said they got the cost estimates on it.
A PennVEST loan will be the primary funding source for the project, according to Mayes.
“Any undertaking you end up doing with PennVEST, there are far and few between the times they actually do a 100% grant funded project. Almost everything that they do, there is a loan component that goes along with it,” he said.
The portion of the funding from PennVEST for the project will be a loan. That is where the requirement for this new mandatory connection ordinance comes in, Mayes said.
“Somebody has to sign as the applicant for the project and that is typically a government or a quasi-government entity. In this instance, it is either going to be Bald Eagle Township or Suburban Water,” he said. “When you’re the applicant for the project, you’re responsible for the loan payment and without a mandatory protection ordinance, in theory you could have 36 people put in and say ‘we don’t want it.’ Then Suburban is left paying the bill.”
A total of 12 residences are currently serviced by the private line that goes across Bald Eagle Creek.
For supervisors to go through with finalizing the ordinance, they need to know the exact number of people who need to tap on. Tasselli asked Mayes what will be the exact amount of residents on the line.
“I am getting numbers anywhere from 16 to the highest I’ve ever heard, 24. I heard there were numerous people,” he said.
Mayes confirmed that there are 12 on a private line with 24 wanting to be put on the extension. He added that Suburban Water would not charge tap-on fees. All of the 36 residents will be on the new line.
“The problem with the existing private line is that it starts over by Haywood’s and it is their responsibility. Anything that goes wrong with that, it’s on them to fix it,” Mayes said.
However, the ordinance, which will be imposed by the township, may affect the whole township not just the 36 residents tapping on.
“Are there areas of your township that are served by water that have people not tapped on?” Katie de Silva, Clinton County Planner, asked supervisors.
Chairman Tuff Rine answered yes.
“Can you make an ordinance that covers a certain geographic area and not just the entire township?” de Silva asked.
The township’s solicitor, Frank Miceli, said that it is all of it or nothing.
Mayes suggested the supervisors attend Suburban Water’s next meeting with any concerns and questions they have.
The supervisors agreed to attend the meeting, held tonight, before proceeding with finalizing their water ordinance.