DuBOIS — The Sandy Township supervisors have decided to wait just a little bit longer before selling the township’s sanitary sewer and water systems.
In a 3-2 vote at last week’s municipal authority meeting, the supervisors voted against selling its municipal authority, including the water and sewer systems, to Aqua Pennsylvania Inc., Supervisors’ Chairman Jim Jeffers told the Courier Express.
Jeffers said he made the motion to sell to Aqua and Supervisor Andy Shenkle seconded. He said Supervisors Kevin Salandra, Mark Sullivan and Dave Sylvis opposed the motion.
At first Sylvis hesitated, according to Jeffers, but decided to give the joint committee, representing the township and the City of DuBois, a little more time to reach a long-term agreement with the city. If there is no significant progress made with the city by the end of the year, the supervisors will consider once again selling the municipal authority to Aqua.
Since late August, the proposed sale of the township’s municipal authority has been delayed since the committee has been meeting to see if a long-term agreement can be reached between the township and the city with regard to sewage and water.
Proposals to purchase the township’s water and sewer system were submitted to the township — one from Aqua and one from DuBois, which is where the township currently purchases these services.
According to previously published Courier Express articles, Aqua’s proposal involves a cash purchase amount of $12 million for the system. Based on 3,000 gallons of usage per month, the average monthly bill would be $60.25 for water, $73.75 for sewage, and $121.75 for customers who receive both a water and sewer bill.
The City of DuBois offered two proposals.
The acquisition proposal includes a zero cash purchase plus $7 million toward paying off the debt. Based on 3,000 gallons of usage per month, the average monthly bill would be $41.71 for water, $59.41 for sewage, and $88.87 for customers who receive both a water and sewer bill, according to the previously published reports.
At the last several meetings, Salandra said there hasn’t been much progress made between the township/city committee lately due to focus on 2019 budget preparations.
Jeffers said he made the motion to sell to Aqua because, historically, the city has proven to be “of bad faith.” In reality, he said it has been almost four years that the township and city have tried to reach a long-term agreement for water and sewer.
“Our users/residents are sitting here bleeding,” said Jeffers. “I happen to be not a user of the system. It doesn’t matter to me, but that is not what I was elected for. I was elected for the residents to look at their best interests — not next month, not next summer.”
Jeffers said he is looking for something “more concrete” from the committee.
“Something that we can work on,” Jeffers said. “These ‘could bes’ and ‘maybes,’ those are just a kiss on the cheek.”