Water-line digging raises concern for Monroeville resident

| Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Monroeville resident Ezra Lippincott told Monroeville Council last week that he's concerned a new water line might kill trees and disrupt utilities on his property.

The water line is part of a project that would enable the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County to supply water to Plum and Monroeville residents for the next 40 years, starting in 2016. The deal is estimated to generate $110 million for MAWC.

Lippincott told council that there are multiple trees and utility lines within feet of where authorities plan to dig.

He said his intention was not to “torpedo” the project, but he wanted some kind of insurance that he would be compensated if his property is damaged.

“Before the project is approved, there should be some kind of impact statement,” Lippincott said.

Monroeville solicitor Bruce Dice told Lippincott to schedule a meeting with MAWC and to bring photos of his property with him.

“They work with residents like you all the time,” Dice said.

Lippincott said municipal officials also should be concerned.

He said that if crews dig in to McClure Road, it could change drainage patterns and cause a landslide.

Monroeville Engineer Paul Hugus said the road is landslide prone, but a municipal ordinance should protect the municipality from a project that would cause long-term damage.

Lippincott said he spoke with a MAWC official prior to addressing council and was told that there are ways to install the pipe without causing a landslide.

MAWC will provide between 5.1 million and 10.2 million gallons of water per day to Monroeville and Plum.

Construction was scheduled to start in the spring.

Monroeville Municipal Authority General Manager John Capor said last year when the agreement was signed that it will bring water prices down for Monroeville residents.

Under the new agreement, the cost for residents is estimated to increase by about 30 percent over the next 40 years due to inflation, compared to a 555-percent increase over the past 40 years, Capor said.

Kyle Lawson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8755, or klawson@tribweb.com.

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