The never-ending sewer debate

| 03 Feb 2021 | 12:11

To the Editor:

In the Jan. 21 edition of a local paper there was yet another letter regarding the current ACT537 Central Sewage project.

What jumped out at me was one word in the title “Confused.” Everything about this project is exactly that.

Let’s start with a statement from Mr. Tarquinio in his letter of the 21st where he points out that development cannot occur in the borough because it is a fixed footprint and overdevelopment can only occur along the three-lane in Milford Township. In an earlier letter by Sean Strub he cites that “Not having central sewage has kept existing businesses from being able to expand.....” in the borough. What form would this expansion take if there is no room to expand our fixed footprint? I’m confused.

Development along the 6/209 corridor will inevitably occur once central sewage lines are in, so I’m confused as to why the borough council rejected the offer from the township council to jointly develop a comprehensive plan. Why would the borough not want to be at the table to have input as to the development in the township which will directly impact the borough from police coverage to traffic congestion to ambulance service? We have one lane in and one lane out, and our current traffic situation already needs to be addressed before we even think about the additional traffic that this “sprawl” development of the 6/209 route would add.

I posed the question at a borough council meeting as to why the entire borough (123 residences and businesses) were part of the survey when only the commercial district would be getting sewers. The answer from the HRG representative was that it was Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) mandated. When I contacted the DEP, they told me there was no such mandate. Matter of fact they were “surprised” as to why the scope was not limited to the commercial district. More confusion.

The statement has been made on at least two occasions over the last nine-plus months by HRG that you will never get funding unless everyone in the commercial district is mandated to connect. Yet we hear comments from borough council members that if they get enough grant money maybe not everyone will have to connect. How will the winners and losers be chosen? Lottery? And will this be acceptable to the grant guarantors? Very confusing.

I have read the relevant chapters of the ACT537 document and have not found a single chapter, chart or graph that validates the need for this central sewage project. Basically, what we have here is a solution looking for a problem in my opinion.

So, what then is the urgency to move this project forward? Apparently, it’s foresight, the ability to predict what is needed in the future. So that’s what the council will be voting on, not anything fact based, or data driven but foresight. I hope enough borough council members will reflect on just what the total impact of this will be on our community and not blindly rush forward.

Fred Weber