TribLIVE

| Neighborhoods


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Elizabeth Township man threatens lawsuit to save sanitary authority

Daily Photo Galleries

McKeesport Photo Galleries

Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 4:56 a.m.
 

An Elizabeth Township resident has threatened to sue the municipality because of its efforts to dissolve the township's sanitary authority.

Emil Burak presented a notice of his intent to sue to township commissioners' at a meeting this week. In his notice, Burak claims “a partisan majority clique” on the board is attempting to dissolve the Elizabeth Township Sanitary Authority even though the move will cost rate payers money.

“Consider yourselves served,” Burak told township officials as he distributed his letter at the meeting. Burak said commissioners have never stated a clear reason for wanting to dissolve the authority.

Township commissioner Matt Racunas said one of the board's reasons is the authority's failure to comply with terms of a 2008 consent order issued by the state related to illegal sewage overflows that occurred at the problematic Buena Vista treatment plant.

Commissioner Claire Bryce, who along with commissioners Gene Francesoni, Larry Vota and Chris Evans supports the termination of the authority, responded.

Bryce said the authority missed a consent order deadline to connect its system with a facility operated by Municipal Authority of the City of McKeesport.

“It was supposed to be done July 1,” said Bryce.

State Department of Environmental Protection officials have noted both the township authority and MACM have missed deadlines to connect their systems, which will result in the Buena Vista plant being taken offline.

Township and authority attorneys are operating under an agreement ordered by the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas to resolve sanitation issues. Under the agreement, the authority is required to “take all necessary actions to dissolve and wind up its affairs” while the township is required to assume all of the authority's debt and responsibilities on or before Oct. 24.

Authority officials claim about $7 million will be lost to refinancing costs if the township takes over all the authority's $32 million in debt.

Burak has yet to file notice with the Allegheny County Department of Court Records.

Racunas said he does not intend to formally respond to the notice.

Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, or eslagle@tribweb.com.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read McKeesport

  1. Elizabeth prepares for annual Riverfest
  2. Mon Valley called ‘ground zero’ for blight
  3. Steel Valley area youth attend water camp
  4. UPMC McKeesport president reiterates hospital will remain open
  5. Driver escapes serious injury in McKeesport heavy-equipment accident
  6. Jefferson Hospital doctor serves as panelist for mental health legislation
  7. North Versailles Township receives fully loaded street sweeper
  8. EPA brings Clean Power Plan hearings to Pittsburgh
  9. W.D. Mansfield Memorial Bridge rehab project remains on schedule
  10. McKeesport, neighboring school districts to receive more overall funding from state
  11. ‘Last of the downtown mansions’ demolished in McKeesport
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.