Summit Hill Borough Council has a special meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday. It's an important meeting and hopefully citizens will have an interest and attend.
The meeting is to discuss imposing an annual sewage facilities fee. The fee would establish a fund that would be utilized to replace aging and deteriorating sewer lines in the borough.
Council members estimate that it will take many years to adequately upgrade the central sewerage system.
A problem is that a lot of water is infiltrating the system. Also, the system is about a century old with some of the original pipes still in the ground.
A sewage facilities fee is a good idea if the fund is established properly. It has to be a separate fund and there has to be a plan in place for doing the upgrades. The money might also be used for emergency repairs.
Council members admit that there are few avenues of funding available from the federal and state governments for upgrading. As a result, some council members are resigned to the fact that they are alone in getting the financing the upgrades - with the lone source being borough residents.
How much will the sewage facilities fee be?
That's one of the things to be discussed Thursday night. Possibly members of the public will have suggestions.
Unfortunately, the present condition of the sewerage system can't be ignored. At some point, there have to be repairs and improvements. With a sewage facilities fee, there can be a fund established to at least handle emergencies as they come along.
A new fee is equal to a new tax. Nobody likes to pay more money, especially with the state of the economy being as it is.
That's why it is important for the public to attend and possibly add input to the council's discussion.
The council has a painful, important decision to make. And if the public doesn't care what happens, then it shouldn't complain about the end result.
Council meetings are open to the public. This particular meeting has a subject that affects every borough resident.
By Ron Gower