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Upper Tyrone offers update on $8.2M sewage project

| Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 9:06 p.m.

Upper Tyrone residents recently were presented with information on a project that will bring a new sewage system into the township.

“Many of you are wondering why we are doing this, but the DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) and the state are mandating that all townships address issues with their sewage systems,” Upper Tyrone Sewage Authority President Jesse Keller told the more than 80 people who attended the July 22 meeting. “If the township refuses to do this, we would incur fines.”

The proposed sewage project will encompass Kingview, Kiefertown, South Everson, Owensdale, Kingview Road, Dexter Road, Valley View Road, McClure area, Mt. Pleasant Road and Montgomery Road.

The project is considered to be high priority from the DEP and was proposed to eliminate “wildcat” sewers and malfunctioning septic systems.

The estimated cost of the project is $8.2 million. Keller assured residents the board is searching for funding through grants and other opportunities, and is planning to apply for a loan through PennVEST.

“We want there to be the least amount of problems to the residents,” Keller said. “We want to do this in a manner that would be the least costly.”

Residents questioned the board on tap-in requirements, exemptions, substituting line length, pipes and regulations.

They also asked about the costs associated with the project. Keller said the board does not have firm details on the project time frame or costs to residents.

Keller encouraged the crowd to attend open meetings.

“I know that your two biggest concerns are why do I have to do this and what is it going to cost,” Keller said. “We have no idea what this is going to cost to the individual folks it affects. It's too early in the program to be talking cost.”

Keller encouraged residents to review maps that project engineer William Utzman of Morris Knowles had on hand so they could be told in detail how the proposed lines would affect then and their property.

Utzman said in some cases, the proposed plans could be slightly altered if a property owner requests it and it is within the budget to make the change.

“Ultimately, it's your property and not ours,” Utzman said, adding that except for the homeowners whose structures are 150 feet or more from the lines, all will be required to tap in to the system.

Keller said the July 22 meeting was the first of many. The board might have informational meetings on a quarterly basis.

“We are here to serve you and to work with you,” Keller said. “We want to be very up front so we can all get off on the right foot.”

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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