Elizabeth Township man threatens lawsuit to save sanitary authority
By Eric Slagle
Published: 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
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.
- McKeesport middle school student struck by dump truck dies in hospital
- AIU forum bashes governor’s education budget
- License transfer paves way for new restaurant in McKeesport
- Watch is on for landslides
- Wilmerding Y surviving Ice Plant shutdown
- New McKeesport committee to focus on community issues
- Father-son funeral directors lead community
- Clairton Meals on Wheels puts new van in immediate service
- Army band Volunteers to rock Palisades stage
- McKeesport mayor answers critics of emergency timing
- West Elizabeth mayor tenders resignation