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Upper Tyrone sewage authority explains project

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Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, 12:11 a.m.

Upper Tyrone Township Sewage Authority members answered questions and explained the upcoming sewage project to residents this week during a second public meeting.

Jesse Keller, authority board president, told residents members plan to continue their open-door policy with residents, welcoming input and questions.

“The board made a decision that they wanted to get the public involved early,” Keller said. “We want you to know what is happening, why it is happening, and what will happen next.”

Keller said the line design was about 90 percent complete and invited residents to look at the maps at the meeting, to see where the sewage lines would be placed and how they would be affected.

“If you see something that you would liked moved and it isn't cost-prohibitive, then we could possibly make some changes,” Keller said of the line placement.

Keller said authority members were still looking into possible grants for the project, while exploring the lowest rates available from lenders.

“I know that all of you are wondering what this is going to cost, and our answer to you is as little as possible,” Keller said.

Residents were informed they would be responsible for tap-in fees, the cost of running lines from the tap-in to their site and the cost of emptying any existing septic tanks and having them filled with sand.

“These will then be checked out by inspectors,” William Utzman of Morris Knowles said of the sand-filled tanks. “This is something that is a DEP requirement.”

Residents were concerned about damage to their properties during the project.

“The contractor has to restore anything that is damaged,” Utzman said.

Other concerns included easements and from what point the 150-foot tap-in requirement distance would be measured.

“It will be measured from the closest corner of your structure to the sewage line,” Utzman said.

Again, no costs to the residents were discussed, and that fact had several concerned.

“You keep asking us to get on board and to support this, but you are giving us no estimate of the financial impact that this is going to have on us,” resident Nathan Kletzing said. “It's real hard to get excited when all I see is cost and bills in our future. The economy is tanking and many people are now working part-time and there are others on fixed incomes. This is something that most of us are having a hard time getting excited about.”

Keller said they are looking into different types of financial aid for low-income families and senior citizens and all of that information will be made available as soon as they gather it, but otherwise, it was too early in the project to determine any costs.

The subject of contractors to perform the digging needed for the individual properties was discussed.

Project manager Vince Seyko told residents that contractors may approach them, offering discounts for work performed on numerous properties at the same time.

Seyko warned residents to beware of contractors that may appear to be less than reputable.

“If someone pulls into your driveway in a broken-down pickup, I'd be careful,” Seyko said.

Keller said the project, under optimal circumstances, could be completed in August 2015.

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.

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