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Kiski, Apollo vie over sewers

| Monday, March 25, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Kiski Township can't start work on a $300,000 sewer separation until it irons out agreements with neighboring Apollo.

The township wanted to start on April 1 to install a new sanitary sewer on First Street, township Solicitor Tim Geary said.

But the state won't let that happen unless Apollo gives its permission.

Apollo officials are refusing to sign off on the project until the township accepts maintenance agreements on the lines that are to the borough's liking.

“The Department of Environmental Protection has indicated they will not issue the permits to Kiski until we go through Apollo,” Geary said.

The existing combined system will become a storm sewer.

The township's sanitary and storm sewers tie into the borough's lines.

Apollo wants Kiski Township to share in maintenance costs of the lines within the borough, based on the flow into them from the township. The impact of additional development in Kiski Township also is a concern.

The township and borough have been negotiating for several months.

Apollo Council President David Heffernan said the state requiring Apollo's approval before Kiski Township can start work puts the borough in the “driver's seat.”

Apollo Council discussed the issue on Thursday with its engineer, Rich Craft of Olsen and Associates, but could not reach any conclusions. Council decided to meet again on April 9 to continue deliberations.

Kiski Township officials are ready to start construction, which can be finished in three months, according to Geary.

The project is intended to reduce excess flow to the Kiski Valley Water Pollution Control Authority's treatment plant. If the separation is not done, township residents could face higher sewage bills because of the excess flow, Geary said.

“We really want to get started,” he said.

Geary said the township and borough had a maintenance agreement on the sanitary sewer more than two years ago, but Apollo officials refused to sign it.

The borough then wanted a separate agreement for the storm sewer, but the township initially balked. A proposal was made, and engineers and lawyers for the two municipalities have been tweaking it, Geary said.

“All the things they asked to be changed we agreed to — the reasonable things,” Geary said. “You can't give somebody else a blank check.

“We're not asking for a blank check, and we're not giving them one.”

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4701 or brittmeyer@tribweb.com.

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