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West Homestead councilors OK advertising for new manager

| Tuesday, April 30, 2013, 1:31 a.m.

West Homestead officials have started the process of finding a replacement for departing borough manager Ray Fonos.

Councilors unanimously passed a motion at Monday night's special meeting to advertise the open position.

Fonos announced last month he will be leaving his post for personal reasons after 2 12 years of service.

“He's done a great job,” council president Dave Weir said. “He's done a lot in his (time) here.”

An official departure date was not announced.

Fonos said he plans to leave when he has helped the borough find his replacement, and after closing on a $3.1 million PennVEST loan for a borough-wide sewer repair project.

“I don't just want to walk away,” Fonos said.

Council approved a proposed ordinance amending language for the PennVEST loan.

Borough Solicitor Stanley Lederman said the change went from calling it a “general obligation note” to a “guaranteed obligation note.”

“It's fine print, that's what it comes down to,” he said prior to the meeting.

Fonos said the loan was expected to close on Wednesday, but officials at the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Authority recently informed the borough of the necessary alteration. The new closing date is June 12. The change delays the start of the project for at least 40 days.

In March, council approved a $1,610,740 bid from Inland Waters Pollution Control of Detroit to perform the repairs.

Karl Sieg, principal at Sieg & Associates Inc., recommended the company to council as the lowest responsible bidder.

Borough engineer Bill Roth said work cannot begin until the loan has closed.

The borough will make monthly payments of $9,970 for 30 years to repay the loan.

Funds will come from the borough's sewer fund, and then from borough assets should West Homestead default on the loan.

Borough sewage customers pay $8.20 per 1,000 gallons. West Homestead receives $3.70 of that fee; the rest is paid to the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority.

The sewer project involves repairing 300 severe problems in the lines.

Roth said the work is part of the state Department of Environmental Protection's consent decree, and problematic lines range from 50-100 years old.

“We're fairly on schedule,” Roth said about of the decree.

Roth said future sewer projects will be designed to minimize the water flowing to ALCOSAN.

Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or mdivittorio@tribweb.com.

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