ShareThis Page

Elizabeth Twp. Sanitary Authority mostly silent on dissolution plans

| Friday, April 5, 2013, 4:36 a.m.

Elizabeth Township Sanitary Authority has yet to set a course of action in response to township commissioners' decision earlier this week to take steps toward terminating the authority.

At their regular meeting on Thursday, authority board members barely discussed the township's action three nights earlier to have the township solicitor draft an ordinance dissolving the authority.

Authority solicitor Thomas Barry reviewed the situation briefly before the board scheduled a special meeting for Wednesday at 6 p.m.

That will follow a special meeting the township already has scheduled for Tuesday to vote on the ordinance.

“I got to see what they do,” Barry said after the meeting. “I don't know what they're bringing.”

Barry said he only received word of the proposed termination on Thursday and had not researched the subject.

“I have no idea why they would want to terminate an effective unit of their government,” Barry said.

Less than three months ago, the township voted to add two members to the authority board by amending the article of incorporation.

That subsequently was overruled by the Pennsylvania Department of State. The department said it did not conform to state law because the authority did not propose the amendment.

The township says it is legally authorized to terminate the authority.

Township and authority officials say a previously existing authority had been dissolved by the township years ago; the current authority was formed in 2002.

Bob Similo, who formerly chaired the authority board and now is working as a consultant to the authority, said the township doesn't have the expertise to manage the sanitary system.

“If they are capable (of terminating the authority), and do that, the sewer rates will triple in Elizabeth Township,” he opined. “I don't think they did much research on what has to be done.”

Commissioners say it is too soon to discuss who will oversee the system if the board is dissolved.

Similo, who was on the authority board for about a decade until this year when commissioners appointed Gary Stetar to replace him, said there's no way the board of commissioners would ask him to oversee the system.

Similo is earning $75 per hour as a consultant.

The township has hired attorney Jack Cambest to oversee the procedure of terminating the authority at a rate of $95 per hour.

Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1966, or eslagle@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.