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Mobile estates owner hits snag on access to public sewer system

Published October 24. 2009 09:00AM

A local businessman's request to hook up to Palmerton's public sewer system has hit a snag.

On Thursday, borough council entertained a request from Joe Weiner, owner of Weiner Mobile Estates, to be connected to the borough's sewer system.

Darrin Heckman, of Lehigh Engineering, said Weiner has 62 units located on property in Lower Towamensing Township, on the south side of Avenue B located in the borough.

Heckman said the entity operates on in-ground septic systems, and added that Weiner would like to make a request for public sewer since the entity is close to an existing sanitary sewer.

He said Weiner is prepared to submit a SALDO plan to the township for its approval.

We're allowed to do 50 units per parcel," Heckman said. We want to do two parcels, where we could go to 100 units (50 per parcel)."

If the borough would entertain the public sewer connection for Weiner Estates, Heckman said they would install a flow meter.

Joe would maintain all the sanitary sewer lines, and would maintain the roads," he said. There currently is an on-lot water system for part of the development.

Heckman said Weiner currently pays half of his water bill to the borough.

We thought it would be cheaper or easier if we paid the borough directly," he said. We feel that no matter which way we go, this area would be utilized."

There are other benefits associated with that scenario, Heckman said.

You'd be dealing with one client, not multiple clients," he said. Palmerton would gain 100 more customers and it would require very little maintenance."

Council President Terry Costenbader then asked Heckman and Weiner if they had a signed copy of the intermunicipal agreement the borough has with the township.

We don't know if the township is coming here (with its sewage), and neither do you," Costenbader said.

But, Heckman said his client is asking nothing more than the same as other entities that have dealt with the borough."

Regardless, Costenbader stood firm in his stance.

The very last one we took in, we wanted that to be the last one," he said. We're done; we have an intermunicipal agreement."

Heckman then asked whether the borough would consider rewriting the intermunicipal plan specifically for Weiner Estates.

Borough Manager Rodger Danielson then told Heckman he doesn't believe doing so would be in the borough's best interests.

Lower Towamensing Township has an Act 537 plan in front of DEP, and probably within one to two years, they're going to determine how they're going to handle their municipal line," Danielson said. Individual agreements are not good."

Further, Danielson said such a move would likely set a precedent.

Councilman Chris Olivia said council's hands are tied with regard to the matter.

I'd love to have Joe in; one-hundred people would knock down the costs for everyone," Olivia said. We're stuck."

However, Costenbader told Heckman council would likely be open to other options.

We're willing to look at anything," he said. If it's going to be done, it has to be intermunicipal."

In other business, council:

Agreed to hire Joel George as the borough's new public works employee; contingent on his completion of a CDL license, the receipt of his wastewater treatment plant license within the next five years, and passing his physical. In addition, council agreed to send all other applicants a letter of thanks for their interest in the position.

Hired Stacey Fronheiser as a regular crossing guard and Kimberly Miller and Renee Shupp as alternate crossing guards.

Hired Anthony Harry and Robert Sell as seasonal leaf collectors at a rate of $7.25 per hour.

Granted a time extension for a subdivision application on behalf of Sal Melo, of Melo Enterprises, until the end of the year, for the Fairview residential development located between Princeton Avenue and Edgemont Avenue, west of First Street. The development will include single family dwellings and twin homes.

Adopted an ordinance that amends a borough code entitled Firemen's Relief Association.

Adopted an ordinance that amends the Fire Department ordinance.

Approved a request by Crusaders For a Cause to hold their annual carnival May 27-30.

Granted Joe Kercsmar permission to take engine 711, engine 714, and tower unit 721 to participate in the Northern Lehigh Halloween Parade on Oct. 31

Announced next month's council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Nov. 24, a Tuesday, due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

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