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Delmont considers $4 sewer hike

| Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Delmont residents might have to chip in an extra $4 a month to defray costs related the borough's new sewage plant.

Borough council will vote next month on a proposal to increase the sewer rate from $41.25 to $45.25. The increase would pay off a 10-year loan to pay for the pump station.

Council originally discussed a $5 rate increase but shot it down after deciding residents also might get hit with an increase from the Franklin Township Municipal Sanitary Authority, or FTMSA.

“I hate having the residents slammed with a $5 increase,” Councilwoman Becky Matesevec said.

The Cramer Pump Station, which is in Salem but maintained and funded by Delmont, has been in disrepair for years. A project to renovate it has been in the works for 20 years, officials said.

Most recently, seals on the pumps have been breaking and requiring replacement. Officials also changed the chemicals used to process sewage through the station to address the complaints of nearby residents who said the odor from the station was offensive.

In September, council agreed to obtain a $1 million loan to pay for the planned renovation and eliminate old sewer-related debt.

An increase of about $3.50 per resident would cover the loan repayment, Council President Jim Bortz said. Any extra money would be put in a fund to cover emergencies or future maintenance.

The pump station should last 20 years, Bortz said.

“I wouldn't mind going with $4 and then in maybe two years, raise it again another $1,” Delmont Councilman Andrew Shissler said.

“I was just trying to smooth things out 'cause I don't know what rate increases FTMSA also has 'cause they can have their rate increases as well.”

Council approved a request to advertise the $4 rate increase, with Bortz dissenting. Council members Alyce Urban and Randy Cupps were absent.

As part of the new plan, officials will install a new wet well between the ramp and existing pump station, a new generator and a new roof in addition to replacing four pumps. The new system would be gravity-based, instead of pressure-based.

Amanda Dolasinski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626.

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