DuBOIS — If a joint municipal authority is not possible between Sandy Township and the City of DuBois, there are other options, according to township Supervisor Kevin Salandra.
During a meeting to discuss the possibility of forming a joint sanitary sewer and water systems authority with DuBois officials, Salandra said if the authority proposal doesn't work, the city said it would be willing to look at a long-term agreement with the township, "on keeping the status quo." Salandra's update was presented at Monday's township municipal authority meeting.
In this case, the township municipal authority would keep purchasing water from the city and the city would still provide sewer services, he said.
"So, that's something that they were willing to look into and maybe with their Act 537 plan provided for some grants, but maybe with both of us seeking out grants as a group that we will be able to get even more grants and even reduce some of the costs for rates," Salandra said.
Salandra said at some previous township meetings regarding the proposed sale of the township's municipal authority there were some comments stated as facts that needed clarification. Those included, he said:
The city would not be permitted to have an open reservoir if something happened to the one it has.
"What we actually found out was that open reservoirs are perfectly fine," said Salandra. They have found that reservoirs are better quality than most wells and is the preference of most people.
The current Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Public Water Supply Permit application, Module 3B, provides for the permitting and operation of surface water sources, such as the DuBois Reservoir, according to the city.
If there was seismic activity and something happened to the tunnel, there would be no water.
There is an 8-inch line that runs from the reservoir around the tunnel and serves as a back-up line to supply water to the filtration plant if something would ever happen to the tunnel. Also, the city has wells that would serve as a backup.
The reservoir is shallow enough to walk across.
According to the city, the reservoir ranges up to 40 1/2 feet in depth and contains more than 655,000,000 gallons of water.
Money from the water and sewer is paying for the new park fields
The city has been very aggressive in procuring grants and uses the park and recreation money to help supplement building and maintaining the park and and ball parks. No money is ever taken out the water and sewer fund to pay for these facilities.
The city has looked into dredging the reservoir, said Salandra.
"They said most of the sediment is where Anderson Creek comes into the reservoir and if they did dredge, they'd gain about 80 million gallons," said Salandra. "Out of a total of about 655 that they have now, they could gain 80 million more. They've determined, at this point, that that isn't necessary, but they've looked at other options. One option would be, they pick up the same number of gallons at about half the cost by adding a foot to the breast of the dam."
Monday, the supervisors tabled making a decision on who to sell their sanitary sewer and water systems to — either the City of DuBois or Aqua Pennsylvania Inc. — during both their municipal authority and regular meetings so that more discussion can take place between the city and the township.