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Sutersville authority mulls its options

| Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

A link between Sutersville-Sewickley Municipal Sewage Authority and a neighboring organization may be dissolved before the authority decides to terminate it.

Rich Schimizzi, solicitor for the authority, told the board members Monday night that Elizabeth Township Sanitary Authority has been voted on by township supervisors for dissolution.

SSMSA board members were considering several options to save the authority money, including severing a 50-year agreement with ETSA and instead linking with the Municipal Sewage Authority of the Township of Sewickley.

The Sutersville authority members were also discussing the feasibility of leasing a treatment plant in Buena Vista, which was slated for closure by ETSA.

After inquiries about ETSA's position on severing the agreement or leasing the plant, ETSA responded on April 9, saying both would be responded to “in the negative.”

But if the township takes over for ETSA, then the Sutersville authority may have more leniency with the agreement, Schimizzi said.

“The township might say, ‘hey, you guys want out, you're going to be out,'” he said.

One estimate the Sutersville board discussed in March would connect the 515-customer system to MSATS by constructing a 5 12-mile line at a cost of about $2 million.

The Sutersville authority also considered revamping an idea shelved since the system's installation in 2006: building its own sewage treatment plant in Scott Haven.

All these ideas come after the authority requested assistance with $4.3 million on a $6 million loan in August from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure and Investment Authority.

Sutersville authority officials plan to meet again with representatives from Penn-VEST and the Department of Environmental Protection in early June to further discuss the funding possibilities.

“It's going to be a process,” Schimizzi said.

In other business, as a cost-saving measure, the board voted to have Mike's Lawn Care of Manor cut the grass once per month at all three pump stations and twice per month at the office.

Authority members approved the company for the services at $175 per month, provided proof of insurance is received.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at sfederoff@tribweb.com or 724-836-6660.

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