Further discussion about the possibility of a joint municipal authority between the City of DuBois and Sandy Township was at a standstill over the holidays, according to township Supervisor Kevin Salandra.
“A large number of our committee was on vacation and various employees were on vacation,” Salandra said at Monday’s supervisors’ meeting.
The plan was for the committee to meet later this week, Salandra said.
At the Dec. 17, 2018, meeting, the supervisors unanimously voted in favor of proceeding with steps to form a joint municipal authority — for wastewater only — with the city on a non-binding basis, according to a previously published Courier Express article.
The supervisors also agreed to consult with the township’s special legal counsel on the issue.
During the most recent joint committee meeting with the city, Salandra said a joint authority seemed agreeable to both entities.
Some of the major benefits of forming a joint authority would be that the township would retain the assets instead of selling them, said Salandra, noting that the township would lease them to the joint authority.
Also, the average bill of $73.75 to a township customer would be reduced by approximately 40 percent. For example, a customer who uses 3,000 gallons per month should see a savings of about $345 a year.
The reduction in user fees paid by Sandy Township residents over a five-year period would be more than $3.4 million.
During this period of time, with the rates at $15, the township would be paying off $2.3 million in principal and interest.
In addition, the township would see a reduction of more than $700,000 for its bulk users over that five-year period. This would hopefully encourage more businesses to come to the township and the businesses currently in the township could increase their business as well Salandra said at the previous meeting.
Over the last several months, the supervisors have been holding off on making a decision on to whom they might sell their sanitary sewer and water systems — either the City of DuBois or Aqua Pennsylvania Inc. — so that more discussion could take place between the city and the township.
On Monday, they once again tabled taking any action on that transfer. Again, the township committee was given approval by the supervisors to continue working with the city to finalize a long-term agreement for sewage services and the purchase of water.