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Grease in Youngwood sewer system prompts another look at rule

| Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

The chairman of the Youngwood Borough Authority has expressed concerns to council about grease in the sewer system.

In a letter that was read during a council meeting on Monday, Daniel J. Genard asked council to reconsider a 2011 ordinance and require all food establishments to install grease traps.

“It is a very costly problem in addition to being difficult to remove,” he wrote. “The authority spends thousands of dollars per year flushing the lines and purchasing chemicals to combat the effects of the grease in the lines.

“There have been major backups, which are opening the borough (and) authority to claims and potential lawsuits,” he added.

Council enacted an ordinance for food establishments to install grease traps in 2011 but excluded businesses in operation, Genard noted.

“I am strongly encouraging council to revisit the issue and amend the ordinance to force all food establishments that either prepare or serve food to install an approved grease trap,” Genard said.

Council exempted the businesses in 2011 out of a concern about costs, President Lloyd Crago said. He said he wants to know more about the expense before acting on the issue.

“I'd be real cautious about passing an ordinance unless we know how much it's going to cost up front,” Crago said.

In addition to businesses preparing and serving food, churches and clubs could be affected by changes, council members said.

In another matter, six people submitted letters to succeed Ryan Crago, who resigned from council last month after moving from the borough. The term expires Dec. 31, 2015.

“For six people to put in for one spot, it was nice to see,” said Crago, father of the departing councilman.

Council will pick the successor during a meeting next week.

The six candidates are John Hajdukiewicz, the Rev. David Hixson, Shawn Knepper, Diane Fernandez, Rodney Little and Tim Vestell.

Four candidates offered brief statements to council during Monday's meeting.

Hajdukiewicz, a borough resident for 20 years, said he wants to continue council's effort to make the borough grow.

Vestell, a 16-year resident, said he has been involved in Youngwood, including in the fire department.

“I'd like to help out where I can and get involved with the community,” he added.

Fernandez, a lifelong resident, said she wants Youngwood to remain a place where children can grow up and work.

Hixson, pastor of New Beginning Evangelical Church for 11 years, said he has served on various borough boards and wants to stay involved in Youngwood.

“I have a heart for the community,” he added.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or bstiles@ tribweb.com.

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