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Palmerton borough must pay DRBC $16,817 for treatment plant violations

Published June 28. 2013 05:03PM

Palmerton must pay nearly $17,000 for violations related to its old wastewater treatment plant.

On a 4-1 vote, borough council agreed to pay the Delaware River Basin Commission $16,817 for the infractions.

Councilmen Richard Nothstein, Jeremy Barbosa, Michael Ballard and council President Terry Costenbader were in favor, with Councilman Jason Behler opposed. Councilman Kris Hoffner and Councilwoman Holly Sell were absent.

Borough Manager Rodger Danielson said the violations pertained to "permit exceedances."

"We have certain permit requirements for testing for discharge levels," Danielson said. "It's not completely surprising; we wish we didn't do that, but it does happen, especially when you're transitioning from one system to another."

The old plant has since been replaced with a new, $10 million, state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant that has been completely operational since Jan. 31.

In Sept. of 2011, council adopted an ordinance to authorize the issuance of bonds to finance the new treatment plant and related costs. The borough will borrow $10 million through a 30-year loan to pay for the new plant.

For borough residents, that meant a hike in their monthly sewer rate bills, which increased $14.50, from $33.50 to $48.

Danielson previously said the decision to borrow will result in a $60,000 savings per year over earlier bond estimates, or $1.8 million worth of savings over the life of the 30-year span.

The project got under way in May 2011, and was initially expected to take 18 months to complete.

The three SBR tanks were constructed using the precast concrete method and are the main treatment units in the project, David Schlott, of ARRO Consulting Engineering previously said. The SBR tanks measure 42 feet by 122 feet, and are the largest tanks in the treatment plant, he said.

In Aug. of 2010, council approved the acceptance of Carbon County bond financing after county commissioners approved an interest reduction loan that will issue economic development bonds.

The bonds are available through federal stimulus money, also known as the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

In other business, council:

• Agreed to sell its 1990 Chevrolet dump truck to Pencor Services Inc., in the amount of $5,296.

• Adopted an ordinance to amend the nonuniformed pension plan.

• Granted handicapped parking requests to Nancy Rausch, in the 800 block of Edgemont Avenue, and Jacquelyn Rodgers, in the 200 block of Avenue B.

• Approved a request to have the Palmerton Fire Department take a piece of apparatus to attend the Franklin Township parade and tanker dedication on July 21.

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