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Pleasant Hills Authority officials to work out agreement

| Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

A service agreement for the contracting municipalities in the Pleasant Hills Authority to comply with the state consent decree on sewer-overflow issues will be worked out within the next three months.

Officials in Pleasant Hills and Baldwin Borough are the latest to approve a three-month extension to finalize the service agreement between the Pleasant Hills Authority and the other communities. Clarifying the terms of two issues — setting penalties for failure to comply and construction not associated with the consent decree — are what is holding up the service agreement, Pleasant Hills Councilman William Trimbath said.

This is the third time since August that the municipalities sought an extension. Municipal officials are scheduled to meet this week about the agreement, Trimbath said.

“We hope to reach an agreement within the next three months,” Trimbath said. “I think, largely, (those issues) have been resolved.”

The municipalities include Pleasant Hills, Baldwin Borough, Whitehall and South Park. They are working to comply with the state Department of Environmental protection's consent decree to reduce overflow issues. Part of the consent decree is for the municipalities to approve a service agreement with the Pleasant Hills Authority.

Last year, the municipalities approved an extension until March to hash out the terms of the agreement. The newest extension will end in June.

The first item that needs clarification is determining the penalty a municipality receives if it doesn't comply with the consent decree. If approved, penalties will be the same for each municipality, regardless of which municipality has the most overflow, Trimbath said.

“We just tried to make this the same across the board,” Trimbath said.

The second item that needs to be addressed is how to handle construction projects at the Pleasant Hills Authority that don't relate to the consent decree. Trimbath said. Such items would include constructing a conference room or cafeteria.

Laura Van Wert is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5814 or at lvanwert@tribweb.com.

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