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Morrell firefighters concerned about vicinity of sewer project

During a Dunnar Township Municipal Authority meeting, two representatives of Morrell Volunteer Fire Department expressed concerns about an estimated $7 million sanitary sewer-line extension project.

Fire Department officers Ross Rock and Jim Daugherty said they are concerned that equipment owned by D&M Contracting of New Alexandria, the general contractor for the project, would be placed on the firefighters' social-hall property -- adjacent to the pump station in Morrell.

"We still have events, bingo and weddings at the social-hall site in Morrell," Rock said. "We only have a limited amount of space in our parking lot, and we want to make sure that our parking lot isn't blocked by any equipment."

Solicitor Don McCue suggested that fire department officials discuss the concerns with D&M Contracting representatives.

"You need to make sure that you have an agreement in writing with the contractor," McCue said.

Rock said it is important to keep the parking lot at the social hall open because bingos and weddings help the fire department pay for its new building at the former Richard Chevrolet lot on Route 119.

"D&M Contracting can only use your lot if they ask," said Kenny Martray, a representative of Widmer Engineering.

Authority Chairman John Malone said authority members want to ensure that fire trucks have access in case of an emergency.

"We realize how hard it is for organizations like fire departments to raise money in the current economic climate," Malone said. "We will do everything possible to make sure you have access to the social hall during the construction."

Martray also assured fire department officials that he will install the sewage tap-in fee at any location selected by the fire department.

"Legally, I don't think we have a right-of-way through your property," Malone said.

Rock also reminded authority members that school buses need to pass through the fire department area during construction.

"We're very happy that we're getting the sewage, but we want to make sure that everything goes smoothly," Rock said.

Martray explained that the second phase of the project includes the installation of new sewage lines for 239 homes and businesses, the upgrading of the pump station and sewage plant expansion.

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