New Castle News

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April 21, 2012

Neshannock Township OKs engineer for sewer plan

NEW CASTLE — The Neshannock supervisors have authorized sewer engineers Hatch Mott MacDonald of Pittsburgh to update the township sewage permit.

The plan involves a minor revision of the existing 1996 plan and is required as part of the township’s obligation under a consent order approved several years ago, when the New Castle sewage treatment facility was experiencing a hydraulic overload, according to sewer department manager Philip Battista.

This problem has been resolved, said New Castle Sanitation Authority director Richard Christofer.

However, municipalities whose sewage is treated at the Mahoningtown plant have obligations as a result of the overload.

The Act 537 plan estimates future housing and commercial development and sewage needs of a particular area over a 10-year span.

An official draft of the plan — approved by the supervisors — must be submitted by May 31 to the Lawrence County Planning Commission, New Castle Sanitation Authority and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Battista said.

The township plan proposes modifications in two areas and includes installation of grinder pumps, he said. The “most economical” of the options could cost about $750,000.

He added that the township has time to implement the plan.

“This is nothing you have to pass it, then start work on by next week,” he said. “But we must move on this by May 31, so there is no violation.”

Two other options were considered by the engineers, he said. One calls for approval of an updated Act 537 plan that was prepared in 2007 but not adopted, which could cost the township $10 million over the next 20 years.

The second modifies the 2007 plan and would less expensive, he said.

The supervisors also agreed to replace or repair a compressor in order to save melting ice at Hess Ice Rink.

They were told one of the four compressors has not been operating for three weeks. That, coupled with warmer temperatures is resulting in ice melting.

“This is an emergency,” supervisor Joe Gierlach said.

The township had requested prices from three companies to repair the compressor, but only one quote was received. That amount was more than what township can spend without obtaining sealed bids.

As the supervisors considered awarding a contract for that quote, Solicitor Lou Perrotta spoke up.

“I don’t want to impede any progress,” he said, “but I would like someone other than the supervisors or me to declare an emergency.”

Supervisor chairman Ralph Sheen recommended calling  the township engineers, RAR Engineering.

The supervisors agreed that if RAR feels emergency action is necessary, the quote will be accepted. Otherwise, the township will seek bids.

Neshannock approves development

At their regular meeting this week, the Neshannock Township supervisors took the following action:

•Approved a four-lot subdivision off Mitchell Road.

•Approved a non-building waiver and a one-lot subdivision for the Louis and Janet Kalajainen Pomerico plan.

•Authorized submission of a sewage planning module application to the state Department of Environmental Protection for construction of the New Castle Chevrolet dealership at Mitchell and Wilmington roads.

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