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Allegheny sewage authority's plant manager to retire

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Friday, March 28, 2014, 1:56 a.m.

The Allegheny Valley Joint Sewage Authority's plant manager will retire at the end of the year and his replacement may be hired as soon as next month.

Richard C. Chiavetta, a Kennedy Township resident who has served as plant manager for 28 years, said he will work with his replacement during a transition period.

The new manager is expected to start July 1, according to Chiavetta.

“Then I'll spend times showing him the ropes, basically phasing myself out,” he said. “There's a lot to know, a lot to do.”

Among the plant manager's responsibilities are overseeing staff, construction projects and administrative matters, duties outlined in a job posting provided by Chiavetta.

The posting also said the authority was looking for someone with a bachelor's degree in a related field, experience in wastewater management and knowledge of wastewater regulations.

The posting did not include salary information. When asked about the job's pay, Chiavetta declined to provide it, saying that the matter was between the board and the new manager.

“Of course, they're going to have to negotiate,” he said.

Nine people applied for the position. Of those, three were selected to be interviewed, according to Chiavetta.

“There's not too many people that are qualified to do this job,” he said.

The authority's treatment facility in Harmar serves Cheswick, Harmar, Springdale and Springdale Township.

The interviews, which will include two of the authority's board members, should be complete by April 4. The board may vote on the new hire April 23.

The authority is not seeking additional applicants.

In addition to a new manager, the authority is also hiring a replacement for its administrative assistant, Shirley Gianfrancesco, also retiring this year. Like Chiavetta, she has worked for the authority for almost three decades.

Chiavetta credited the cooperation between himself, employees and the board with a successful 28 years.

“I've enjoyed my time here,” he said.

In other business

• In executive session, the board discussed allegations that the plant had several violations and compliance issues, according to the Allegheny County Health Department and the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Chiavetta said there was nothing to report and described the item as a “point of discussion” for the board.

• The board voted to hire two summer employees, one from Springdale and one from Harmar. Board members from those communities are seeking candidates.

• The authority requires that applicants be high school graduates who are going to college.

• The board is looking into options for replacing or fixing a waste grinder at its Colfax pump station. The malfunctioning machinery is not effecting service to residents, according to Chiavetta.

To replace the parts, he told the board, could cost about $30,000. To replace the entire piece of equipment would cost about $36,000.

The authority bought the equipment nine years ago and never needed repairs before, Chiavetta said.

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