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Work moves forward to control Cubbage Hill stormwater

| Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Collier Township commissioners said they are making strides in taking action against a local developer they say exacerbated the July flooding for residents in the Cubbage Hill area.

Township engineer Kevin Brett said “significant work” has been done at the Prestley Heights development by developer Hiroo Patel. Residents and officials have said storm-water runoff from the development caused severe flooding during heavy summer rains.

“Work has been done to rebuild, repair and install new facilities for storm-water control,” he said. “We have had cooperation from the developer's contractor.”

The state Department of Environmental Protection in August ordered Patel to stop all earth disturbance unless it related to fixing the runoff problem. No permits for further development have been issued since then.

Commissioner Tim Young said the developer had been slow to respond to the deadline for fixes put in place by the township, but once the township threatened to use money from the escrow developers bond, Patel was quick to respond.

The escrow developers bond, posted by a developer, is money that is kept in case of emergency work or to be held in case of work not being performed. As work progresses, money from the bond is released back to the developer.

The developers and contractors have been “very cooperative” and have worked with township engineers to resolve the runoff problems, township manager Sal Sirabella said.

Patel said he has been working with township engineers to solve problems.

The Prestley Heights development straddles the border of Collier and Carnegie Borough. Collier has no jurisdiction over the Carnegie side of the development, but Sirabella said Carnegie officials have been working with the township.

“They're aware of the issues,” he said. “We're pretty satisfied that the lines of communication are open.”

Residents said they are worried about the lack of jurisdiction over the Carnegie side of the development.

“What if Carnegie's standards are not as high as Collier's?” resident Lisa Lonerio asked.

Sirabella said the township has maps that enable them to see what runoff is coming from Carnegie.

Collier residents who incurred property damage from the July 10 flooding are submitting cost reports to the township.

Delfred Drive resident Marianne Palombi said she has received three estimates for repairs to her basement family room — from $15,000 to $16,000.

Sirabella said while officials are unsure whether residents can be reimbursed for the damage, the township is trying.

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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