Hampton property sale will aid in water plant renovations
A recent property purchase will provide Hampton with some cost-saving benefits toward the projected $40 million-plus Allison Park Water Pollution Control plant renovation, with completion expected for 2023.
Hampton Township Council approved a resolution in March to buy the small parcel of land on Toner Avenue for $160,000 from a private owner who wished to sell it to the township, according to Christopher Lochner, township manager. The site is located adjacent to the current plant’s location.
Lochner said the extra space will aid with the construction of the plant.
“It makes it much more flexible,” he said.
Though it’s not of significant size, it will accommodate construction activities such as locating tanks needed for the process, according to Jim Degnan, Hampton environmental services director.
This is a voluntary purchase, not an eminent domain situation. There is another vacant property that may be beneficial toward the plant renovation, and the township administration may reach out to the owner for a possible purchase if it “works out on both sides,” Lochner said.
He added they do not have any intention of taking property for the plant renovation.
Lochner said the cost of the Toner property is small compared to the savings.
In a January township council meeting, Lochner said that KLH Engineers, which is providing work on the plant design, estimated the savings of using the adjacent property to be approximately $1,170,000, which is around 3% of the total $43 million cost.
The plant serves most of Hampton Township and the Crouse Run and Willow Run watersheds of Richland, according to the township’s sewage treatment plan.
Built in the 1970s, with its most recent upgrade in 1991, its aging infrastructure is what Degnan called an ongoing “challenge.”
He said the plant is currently operational and is serving its customers to the “best of its ability.”
The Glannon Pump Station, one of four that the township owns and operates, is also set for an upgrade at an estimated $1.5 million.
As of now, Lochner said they hope to have a final design plan by April 2020 to formally submit to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, which could then take five to six months for approval. The DEP has to approve all plans before Hampton staff can move forward.
Lochner said that after the planning and approval process, which includes submission and approval by the DEP, the municipality would hope to start construction in 2021 and complete it in 2023.
The plant has to remain operational during the construction, so it will be done in phases.
A sanitary sewer rate was unanimously approved in December by Hampton council at an annual increase, which will be an additional $7.50 monthly. The rate is needed to fund the upgrades of the wastewater pollution control plant and Glannon Pump Station. There will be an annual rate increase every year until the upgrades are done, after which it will level out, according to Lochner.
It will take Hampton to the mid-range in comparison with other neighboring communities, at an average monthly cost of $53.46 and bi-monthly at $106. 92.
The town hall meeting in March covered the status of the plant upgrade for its residents and there will be future meetings that will do the same, said Lochner.
“We’re rolling right along,” he said.