Share This Page

Council waives tap-in fee for O'Hara property owners who sign easement agreement

| Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

O'Hara Council will waive a $3,300 tap-in fee for property owners affected by the Saxonburg Boulevard sewer project if easement agreements are signed by June 30.

Council has struggled to get all 70 owners to sign contracts critical for the project to move forward.

Township Engineer Chuck Steinert said 46 contracts are complete.

“We need 24 more. We have to go to the Department of Environmental Protection with a plan as a whole and we need these easements to bid the project,” he said.

The fee waiver would extend to all 70 property owners, not just the ones still left to sign the agreement.

The $4 million sewer project is expected to deliver reliable service to neighborhood residents who still rely on septic systems. Plans are to eliminate three deteriorating pump stations and replace them with one new one.

It is unclear how much of the cost will fall to property owners. Construction is expected to take up to two years.

Council traditionally has waived tap-in fees for residents connecting to a new sewer line.

Resident Tom Portante questioned the idea. He said the township stands to lose $230,000 on the deal.

“Why wouldn't you push this through as eminent domain?” Portante asked.

Court costs would exceed those lost on the waiver deal, Township Manager Julie Jakubec said. It also would delay the project at least a year, Steinert said.

Council President Bob Smith said implementing a deadline is more of a penalty for those who don't sign by June 30.

“We would waive the fee anyway but if they don't sign, they'll have to pay it,” he said.

Council in April hosted a session for residents to discuss the easements.

Jakubec said many had questions about liability issues during the work but she said rules remain the same as always.

“The township assumes responsibility for the underground, and the surface remains with the property owner,” she said.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at tpanizzi@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.