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Washington Township pursues hundreds of tap-ins for new sewer

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By George Guido
Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, 1:41 a.m.

Now that pipe installation for Washington Township's Pucketa Creek sewer project is complete, the next task is to get about 725 tap-ins for residents along the project area.

The tap-in fee will be about $3,600.

Notices were sent out to sewer customers, who have at least 90 days to respond.

Supervisors Chairman Richard Gardner said on Thursday night that the 90-day period is likely to be extended to give residents a little extra time in the spring to install tap-ins.

Gardner added that those ignoring the notices risk liens being placed on their property.

While pipe installation is finished, officials must restore the area that was excavated.

Restoration efforts will begin in earnest once spring weather arrives.

The project was a point of contention for a number of months between residents and township officials, particularly those living in the Washington Acres housing plan.State Act 537 of 2000 mandates that townships are required to set up a septic management ordinance, or pursue public sewerage.

Washington Township officials chose the sewerage route after determining excessive malfunctioning septic systems and Washington Acres' private system.

When Washington Acres was built, contractor Maronda Homes built a small sewage treatment plant to serve the housing plan. But that plant has fallen into disrepair and will be replaced by the new municipal pipeline.

No township residents addressed the issue to the supervisors Thursday night.

In other business

• Supervisors acted on three land use requests.

In one, John and Cheryl Harchuck will be allowed to consolidate nine small lots into one 4.9-acre lot.

The Harchucks bought the land along Knoll Lane in 1954 and created nine, mostly unbuildable lots that were never developed.

The one lot will now require only one sewer tap-in if sewage comes to that area.

Many Washington Township residents in the last several years have consolidated lots — called reverse subdivisions — so only one tap-in fee is required per household unit.

A reverse subdivision for Edward and Jean Lynch of Zubal Road also was OK'd by the supervisors.

Patrick Riggle, of Riggle Trucking Co., was given the green light to demolish an existing 80-foot by 90-foot garage on Marco Road. He intends to replace it with a new 100-foot by 125-foot building to serve as the company's office and truck repair garage.

Before occupying the new building, Riggle first must satisfy a number of conditions established by township officials, including confirming a 55-foot setback from the middle of Marco Road, meeting with township sewage officials on Feb. 28 to make sure the new building won't negatively impact the sewage system and to get approval on a soil plan from the Westmoreland County Conservation District.

• Seth Irwin of the Kiski Valley Rugby Club was given tentative approval to use Kunkle Park's baseball field for three home matches in March and April for the under-19 age group's home games.

Club and township officials are scheduled to hammer out an agreement concerning repairing possible damage to the field before the youth baseball season begins around May 10.

Supervisors are expected to consider the agreement on March 14.

• Work is expected to begin today to reposition an outfall pipe near Lily Street near the Vandergrift and Oklahoma borough lines.

Pampena Construction will do the project as weather permits.

George Guido is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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