Sharp Jabs Mark Stressed Sewer Session

Stresses showed in Nuangola’s lengthy June 10 Sewer Authority meeting.

Reports submitted by Treasurer Ted Vancosky drew fire from Secretary Sally DiRico and others, while objections to the time devoted to the discussion of a $5 fee charged by bridge loan supplier Fulton Bank also brought comment.

The treasurer deflected some criticism by explaining that he was preparing his reports as requested by President Ray Shirk.

DiRico also closely questioned Quad 3 engineer Dan Loughran on the recommendations regarding shutting off electricity to the sewer system’s grinder pumps while seasonal owners are away.

Loughran referred property owners to the manual supplied by the manufacturer which was included in a packet  mailed previously.

DiRico persisted that the concern from these residents is partially financial, but also relate to having open circuits in an un-occupied home all winter long.

Loughran warned, “The reason that they would leave it on is in case water did get in there, the pump would be able to activate and clear out. It’s most likely taking into consideration if there was a flooding, or something else happens. It’s trying to prevent other damage from happening.”

Solicitor Bob Gonos asked, “If you turn the electricity off, does it affect the over-all operation of the system?”

“Individual houses, no,” Loughran replied.

“There are a lot of summer people and they are questioning this. It becomes a financial problem for them. That’s why they are asking,” DiRico clarified.

Shirk picked up the question, “Your answer raises other questions. When you say ‘a’ house wouldn’t impact the system. How many houses shut down for the winter would affect the system?”

The engineer stated that it would vary in different parts of the system. He concluded, “It’s a question that’s complex and can’t be answered without specifically choosing homes and specifically choosing areas and sections…and it’s all done by estimates.”

Shirk commented, “I’m sure this was looked at in terms of designing the system, because there are a lot of people who are not here year round.”

Also, at Atty. Gonos’ recommendation the authority agreed to withdraw $75,256.65 from the Fulton loan and deposit it into a money market account as a potential repayment of funds spent by the Nuangola Borough Council to start the sewer project.

Vancosky said that the bridge loan is dwindling and since it was approved as the source of the funding to re-pay council, it should be set aside in escrow at this point.

In public comment, resident Jim Lauer asked for clearer instructions for the property-owners’ responsibility with the rapidly approaching deadline to connect and to retire existing on-lot systems.

“What’s the rule from DEP of the retirement of the old system, anybody know?”

Shirk explained that Gerard Maskinas, who was absent, is working on that and it will be available very soon. Lauer asked, “Is he working with

DEP on this?”

Shirk said that Maskinas is

preparing a recommendation to forward to council for adoption as an ordinance. “As long as we are in compliance with DEP… The borough is going to have to pass an ordinance on what we recommend to council,” Shirk explained. “We wanted the borough to specify, they did not. So we are taking it on ourselves, passing it over to them… and they have to pass an ordinance.”

“Okay,” said Lauer, “So by August 15th, we are going to know what everything costs –what we have to do? Because we don’t know what we have to do; all we know is that we have to hook up.”

Shirked affirmed that the authority is working on this and will hand it over to council.