A committee made up of City of DuBois and Sandy Township officials continues to work on a long-term agreement for water and sewage.
“I believe we’ve had two meetings with the city since our last meeting,” said Supervisor Kevin Salandra at Monday’s township municipal authority meeting.
“Currently, we’re looking at two options, one would be a long-term agreement with the city and the other one is an operating and maintenance agreement with the city performing the operations and maintenance,” said Salandra.
He said another committee meeting was scheduled for this week to answer more questions.
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.
This week, they once again tabled taking any action on that transfer.
Township Manager Shawn Arbaugh said the city and the township, in addition to Falls Creek Borough officials and the engineering firms, met with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to discuss the Act 537 sewage plan for the city. The plan will determine how large the city needs to construct its new treatment plant because Falls Creek and the township are municipal customers of the city. Neither have yet signed the plan.
“Overall, the meeting was good, the DEP really reiterated that they want to see both Falls Creek and the township pass a resolution approving of the Act 537 plan,” said Arbaugh. “They did stress that there was some urgency behind it due to the condition of the treatment facility and some potential funding opportunities.”
Arbaugh said the township committee will continue to meet with the city to work out terms of the agreement. Arbaugh said he, with township Engineer Perry Bowser, Salandra and Supervisor Mark Sullivan, have been working on various scenarios.
Supervisor Dave Sylvis asked if the DEP brought up what the township’s obligation would be if the township decides it’s not going with an agreement with the city and would sell the municipal authority to Aqua Pennsylvania Inc. instead.
“We would have to, no matter what, approve an Act 537 plan,” said Arbaugh. “Even if we did sell our system to another entity such as Aqua we would be required to still have some resolution for the Act 537 plan.”
According to Arbaugh, the DEP representatives said it was “highly unlikely” for the township’s sewage to be able to go anywhere else besides the DuBois City treatment facility.
“My question wasn’t whether our sewage would continue to go there, it’s what our obligation would be as a municipality if we decide to sell our system?” said Sylvis.
“We’d still be required to... if we so choose to, to pass a resolution to approve the 537 plan,” said Arbaugh, noting that he doesn’t believe that locks in the cost because it’s an estimated cost.
“I think from our side ... we kind of reiterated that we either wanted to enter into some kind of long-term agreement with the city so that we understood the restructure or sell the system before we sign the resolution to approve the 537 plan,” said Arbaugh.