Shaler, Hampton officials recognized for teamwork
By Deborah Deasy
Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Hampton and Shaler officials drove to Harrisburg last week to take a bow at the state Capitol — and share hors d'oeuvres with Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley — for establishing a water bureau to benefit both townships.
Hampton and Shaler recently won a 2013 Governor's Award for Local Government Excellence for establishing Hampton Shaler Water Authority.
“This is an example where you have cooperation among various parties that results in a win-win situation,” said Michael Foreman of the Governor's Center for Local Government Services, an office within the Pennsylvania Department of Economic and Community Development.
Eight leaders of Pennsylvania local governments, and 12 Pennsylvania communities, are getting 2013 Governor's Awards for Local Government Excellence.
The state honored Hampton and Shaler for exemplary “intergovernmental cooperation,” during an April 16 ceremony and reception.
Hampton Township Manager Chris Lochner — he nominated Hampton and Shaler for a Governor's Award — attended the plaque presentation with Vic Son, president of Hampton Council; Tim Rogers, manager of Shaler Township; Dave Shutter, chairman of the Shaler Board of Commissioners; and Sam Scarfone, executive director the water authority.
Hampton Council and the Shaler commissioners — both elected panels — formed the autonomous Hampton Shaler Water Authority in 2011 to ensure revenue for Shaler's water treatment system, and to stabilize water rates for Hampton — and Shaler — consumers.
“They (Shaler) had the (water) supply. We (Hampton) had the customers. It worked out well,” said Scarfone.
Shaler used to manage its water treatment system as part of the municipal budget.
Hampton used to buy water from Shaler, then bill Hampton residents for Shaler water.
“We were both looking for a way to control (water) rates,” Rogers said
The authority now taps, treats and delivers water and issues water bills to both Hampton and Shaler residents, although some Hampton residents still receive water from West View Water Authority.
The authority's administrative and maintenance staffs both work out of quarters in Hampton's municipal complex on McCully Road.
A five-member board of directors — all appointed by Hampton and Shaler elected officials — oversees the authority.
“We really do want the authority to operate on its own, without having political influence,” Son said
The authority operates with 39 employees and a $7.5 million annual budget. It claims about 24,000 customers and provides water for about 65,000 people, according to Scarfone.
“We get the water from a series of wells along the banks of the Allegheny River, just south of the 62nd Street Bridge. We don't draw water from the Allegheny River,” Scarfone said.
“I personally think it's among the best tasting (water) in the area.”
A few years ago, Hampton explored the idea of tapping and treating its own underground water, before opting to partner with Shaler for water service.
“They (Hampton) avoided having to build a multi-million dollar water treatment plant,” Rogers said.
Establishment of the authority also spared Shaler the loss of consumers for its water.
“Had I lost Hampton, I would have lost the largest bulk of water customers that we had, and that would have driven up my overhead costs,” Rogers said.
Hampton Shaler Water Authority began serving the two townships in January 2012.
“This is a model agreement for municipalities, cities, towns and boroughs. You could use the template for fire and police protection and other community services,” said James Fisher of Shaler, constituent relations specialist for state Sen. Randy Vulakovich, R-Shaler, and a member of the authority's board of directors.
Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or email@example.com.
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.
- Absenteeism of North Hills School Board member causes concern
- Vincentian Academy looks at expansion plans
- Annual North Hills Interfaith Gathering to celebrate different traditions
- Hampton considers adding guidance counselor at high school
- All that Jazz Shaler North Hills Library hosting concert
- Photo Gallery: Cherry Blossom Festival at North Hills Art Center
- Franklin Park man presents program that examines seedier side of Hollywood
- Pine-Richland officials look to improve curriculum consistency
- Shaler sets summer paving plan
- Hampton woman, Aspinwall man team to help small businesses succeed
- Unused West View land to become green solution for stormwater runoff