New Castle News

TOP STORIES

April 2, 2014

Shenango agrees to sell sewer system

NEW CASTLE — The Shenango supervisors unanimously agreed to sell the township sewer system.

Russell Riley, Bill Albertini and Al Burick III accepted the New Castle Sanitation Authority’s offer of $1.85 million on Monday. They said the price had been deemed acceptable by RDM Inc. of Pittsburgh, the township’s accounting firm.

Riley said the deciding factor was knowing the sewers will have to be extended to the township’s Castlewood area at a cost of $15 million for 900 customers.

“They can bring it quicker,” Riley said of the authority. He added the township might take another 10 years to obtain funding. But the sanitation authority, he said “will take it and run with it.”

The township has not been mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to replace the sewers, which currently serve 1,500 customers.

But Greg DelPrincipe of RAR Engineering said after the meeting that 184 field surveys showed a 69 percent confirmed septic failure rate in that area.

Brian Tanner, township secretary/treasurer, said Shenango has been unable to obtain funding largely because the state wants to give money to extensions that will spur economic development and provide jobs. Castlewood is primarily residential.

“Our ranking was extremely low. We were not eligible for funding,” Tanner said. “Basically, that’s where we are.”

Riley said the sanitation authority has more clout because it is a larger system and has a better chance for grants or obtaining lower interest loans to build the sewer.

The meeting drew only about 15 residents, but several of them were vocal in their opposition to the sale.

Roberta Filer, who is on the committee formulating the township comprehensive plan, said she fears for the future of the township with the sale of its sewer infrastructure.

She said township officials have known for years that Castlewood needs sewers.

“This should have been planned for a long time ago,” Filer said, noting money should have been set aside for the project.

Filer also said she is disappointed in the poor turnout of residents on such an important issue. She warned the supervisors that the sewer sale “will be your legacy.”

Several other residents expressed concern that the sanitation authority has little incentive to upgrade the township’s system, and also questioned the wisdom of giving up annual profit of about $140,000 from the system.

DelPrincipe said Tuesday the township’s 537 plan obligates whoever owns the system to pursue the sewer extension.

Township officials were quick to point out they do not get $140,000 every year; some years the profit is as little as $70,000. Riley said repairs eat into the annual profit, such as a recent sewer blockage at the school complex. He said the township’s six lift stations are costly to repair and one recently ran $50,000.

The supervisors said they have been considering whether to sell since last April.

Riley said he initially was against the sale but is convinced the authority is better able to extend the sewers than the township.

Solicitor Lou Perrotta said the supervisors did their “due diligence” adding “I’ve had numerous conversations with everyone at this table on the pros and cons.”

The supervisors said the system will be in a transitional state for one year, during which time the township’s one sewer billing employee will be retained and paid by the sanitation authority.

Earlier this year, Union Township agreed to sell its 2,000-customer sewer system to the sanitation authority for $2.29 million.

Neshannock Township recently declined to sell its system.

(Email: grzebieniak@ncnewsonline.com)

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
TOP STORIES
  • VerySpecial.jpg Jameson Hoyt Atrium display spotlights artwork of special needs kids and adults

    Artwork from dozens of area students will take center stage Thursday in the Hoyt Atrium of Jameson Hospital. The Very Special Arts exhibit will kick off with an opening reception at 5 p.m., and the works will remain on display in the glass-enclosed walkway through Oct. 4.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • DougDanko.jpg Census shows county population getting older

    Lawrence County’s population continues to get older. However, it is not alone, as Pennsylvania overall is aging.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • backpackproject.jpg Councilman picks up tab to help lunch program

    Participants of a local summer feeding program are eating this week courtesy of New Castle City Councilman Tim Fulkerson. On Friday morning, the truck dispatched from New Castle to pick up about 3,500 pounds of items from the Pittsburgh Food Bank broke down as it arrived at its destination.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CRESTVIEW.jpg Outreach: Churches plan to host picnic for residents of Crestview Gardens

    Volunteers from several area churches are banding together in hopes of bringing peace to a troubled neighborhood.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • money.jpg Council OKs funds to remove dead trees

    New Castle City Council has approved spending funds from its contingency account to remove some trees at Darlington Park. Marshall Tree Experts of Ellwood City has given an estimate of $12,000 to remove the large elm trees from the Mahoningtown park.

     
     

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • 12.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Night light

    The balloons may have been on the ground but spirits were soaring.

     

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • StateFair.jpg 'State Fair' coming to Playhouse

    The fair is coming to town. No, not the Lawrence County Fair, although that is right around the corner. This is the Iowa State Fair, and it will be live on the stage of the New Castle Playhouse for three weeks, starting Friday night.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • accountant.jpg DeLorenzo’s status with authority unchanged

    Deno DeLorenzo’s status as a contract employee with the New Castle Sanitation Authority remains unchanged. Authority board members met with DeLorenzo last week regarding an investigation by the Lawrence County district attorney’s office involving Shenango Township funds.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shooting.jpg Detroit area man dies in Ellwood City gunfire

    A triple shooting in an Ellwood City street has claimed the life of a Detroit area man. Gunfire erupted in the middle of Loop Street outside the Walnut Ridge housing project around 10:20 p.m. Sunday, according to state police.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Baptism1.jpg Dipped downtown

    John the Baptist identified himself as “the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’ ” On Saturday, local evangelist Randy Crum once again took a cue from the son of Elizabeth and Zechariah, eschewing the locusts and honey that John was known to munch on but heading out into the wilds to baptize believers and challenge them to share their faith with their community.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

House Ads
Poll

Would you want to know what your pet is thinking about you?

Yes! I'd love to know what my pet is thinking.
Nah, it's probably not that interesting.
I don't know. I'm afraid of what I might find out.
     View Results