Parryville forced to comply with Act 537 sewage facilities plan
GAIL MAHOLICK/TIMES NEWS Barry Issett, engineer, with Barry Issett Associates, Trexlertown, right, explains to Mike Grant, left, the steps Parryville Council will have to take to comply with Act 537 Sewage Facilities Plan.
Parryville's sewage problems will not be an easy fix, but Parryville Borough Council finally has taken the first step to comply with Act 537, a community-wide sewage facilities plan. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection ordered communities to adopt an official plan to provide sewage services for areas within its jurisdiction in 1968.
Barry Issett, engineer, with Barry Issett Associates, Trexlertown, met Tuesday night with Parryville Council to discuss the steps Parryville must take.
Council president Mike Grant said that Parryville Council is beginning the process because several residents have written letters to DEP complaining of sewage problems and Parryville Council had no choice but to comply.
While many communities in Pennsylvania took steps to comply with the order 20 plus years ago, Parryville halted the process after hiring RKR Hess to begin developing a plan in the 1970s. The plans were never finalized or adopted and since have laid dormant.
Grant said that the borough has actually received several complaints requesting that the department order the municipality to comply with Act 537 in the borough of Parryville.
Grant said that since receiving the complaint, council hired Issett to start the process.
Issett said that as Parryville's representative, he met with DEP and that was the first step in the task of complying with the Act 537 Sewage Facilities Plan. The second task with be going over the old plan that was never adopted and finalizing it. He said that he also will come up with alternatives and is asking citizens to come forward with information whether their well is contaminated because that will help Parryville with finding funding or applying for grants to PENNVEST or Farmer's Home.
Issett said one of the first steps he will take is to establish a timeline and costs of complying with the plan.
Grant said that DEP required the Borough to respond within 30 days to the complaint, but that when Issett met with DEP, that bought the borough more time.
"We now have 120 days to respond to the complaint," said Grant. "Plus we have three to six months to develop an Act 537 plan."
Issett said that he should have an activity report by the end of October and that the final plan version should be developed by mid July 2012.
"Funding is a big concern," said Grant. "We have no idea what the engineering costs will be and how and when we can afford this plan. We have no money and if we have no money, we cannot meet the Act 537 plan obligations."
Attorney Michael Greek, solicitor for Parryville, said that Parryville Council will have to hold a public comment meeting to tell people the costs of complying with Act 537. "It may be cost prohibitive. This doesn't mean that Parryville will have a sewage package plant in Parryville."
Grant said that by hiring Issett, the borough is complying with the complaint letter. "We have responded to the letter," said Grant.
Dana Brubaker, secretary, said that she is trying to determine a budget for 2012, but that engineering costs are eating up about half of the budget.
"Engineering is a huge expense," said Brubaker.
Grant said that due to the engineering costs, the borough will have to raise taxes to offset the higher costs. He also noted that taxes may also have to be raised to pay for garbage collection.
"We will know the garbage collection costs by November," said Grant.
Council plans to advertise for bids for garbage collection and open bids at the October meeting.
Council also discussed the salt shed. Grant said that the structure will be constructed of cement and wood. Engineering costs to determine the property boundary line were $1,782. The salt shed will be built on the property adjacent to the borough building.
Engineers were also hired to look into the reason for the smell coming from a house on Main Street. Those fees were $284.