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Engineer to try to help resolve Unity issue

Friday, June 21, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

Unity municipal authority this week approved professional staff and an engineer to attend a joint meeting with municipal and sewage officials to continue to try and resolve differences between the township's Act 537 sewage overflow plan and the Latrobe Municipal Authority.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection rejected plans submitted by both authorities on May 16.

Engineer Kevin Brett told Unity officials at Wednesday's meeting that the DEP did that in part because the agency disagreed with the use of a overflow tanks in both plans to temporarily hold stormwater until it would be treated by the sewage plant.

“They (the tanks) were a short-term solution,” he said. “That's the first time we had received that comment.”

The modified plan from Unity includes a greater capacity pump station and increased pump station size instead of the tank, Brett said.

Under the plans modified after DEP's rejections, cost estimates for Unity's upgrades totaled $25 million, while Latrobe's plan would cost $38 million, Brett said.

Unity's original plan proposed treating the wastewater from more than 3,000 township households now being served by Latrobe's sewage plant.

Brett said funneling those customers to Latrobe's plant instead would involve more costly construction.

Now, the customers would remain with Latrobe but the city authority would pay Unity to treat their sewage in order to cut costs, Brett said.

He told Unity board members that customers of both authorities could expect a rate increase of about $12 a month, depending on how rates are calculated.

“The plan is as regional as it can be made as this point at the lowest cost,” Brett said.

A date has not yet been set for the meeting, Unity municipal authority Manager Mike Henry said.

“They thought by bringing the parties together that hopefully they could try to resolve and move forward,” he said.

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

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