Storage tank approval anticipated from DEP
Published: January 10, 2013
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OAK GROVE - It seems like the Pine Grove Township Authority (PGTA) has been talking about the upgrade of the former Aldick Water System forever. Progress is reported each month, but it's been two years plus since the first sales agreement was signed, and more than a year since the authority finally took ownership.
It had been noted last month that the $500,000 H2O grant the authority had been awarded in June 2010 must be spent by June 2013. At that meeting, engineer John Williams discussed the problem and it was agreed Williams would request the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) separate the application sent to DEP in July, approving the part that is ready for approval, that is, the storage tank to be erected on a hill off Route 443 across the road from Swatara Village. Stahl reported in December that DEP has agreed to Williams' request. Once that approval is received, the authority should be ready to approve the advertisement for bids shortly.
In the meantime, the hydrologist is awaiting DEP approval of the water testing plan he had submitted. Stahl said he would contact State Rep. Mike Tobash, R-125, and request a meeting after the holiday, asking him to call DEP for an update. "That usually gets them moving," said Stahl, "since it will require them to keep Tobash informed of the progress."
With that all taking place, Stahl reported he had talked to the owner of the property on which the tank will be erected to negotiate a price. Charles Miller, he said, owns 32 acres and they reached an agreement for the purchase of three acres for $15,000 and will include access from Route 443. According to Stahl, the addition of public water to Miller's property is definitely a plus for Miller.
In anticipation of a quick approval of the water testing plan, Stahl noted he and maintenance man, Ken Zearfoss, had done some plumbing work. "When the DEP says the plan is approved, we can begin immediately," he said.
Currently, said Stahl, Williams is working on the letter to request a six month extension of the H2O grant. In that same letter Williams will request approval to amend the grant, using the $100,000 that had been approved for the draining of the lagoon to extend the lines and install the holding tank. A new budget, he said, must be made and submitted with the request. "Hopefully," said Stahl, "we can begin building in the spring."
If all goes as planned, connections will be available for several motels and fast food restaurants located at the I-81 interchange in the third or fourth quarter of 2013. It was agreed letters would be sent informing those businesses of the authority's plan to connect them to the system. Another letter will follow when connections are available and would include the number of EDUs required plus the cost.
In other business, Stahl reviewed the budget which would include the new connections. In the meantime, the members will continue gathering information to formulate the policies and procedures required to run the water system.
The authority's next meeting will be held on January 16 at 7 p.m., beginning with the reorganization of the board.