Water authority discusses break in at sewer plant
SHARON STANLEY/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Bowmanstown's Borough Authority reorganized for 2014. Front row, from left, secretary John Krebs; Hala Khouly of Ettinger and Associates; and Vice Chairman Joseph Civitella; and back, Water Treatment Plant operator Craig LaBarre; Chairman Jerry Hall; member Ernest Guldner; treasurer Mathew Behler; Mark Bahnick of Van Cleff Engineer; and clerk/assistant secretary Tara Takerer.
A recent attempt to break into the Bowmanstown sewer plant was discussed at Tuesday's borough authority meeting.
Craig LaBarre, Water Plant operator, expressed his concern about a recent break-in, and described it as "a serious attempt to get in the front door."
LaBarre went on to say the intruders had to climb a fence and that they made an effort to get into the lab. He said what concerns him most is the safety of his workers there. He also pointed out that it took the state police 70 minutes to arrive on-site.
He added that borough council would like to obtain quotes for security cameras/alarm systems and install them on the water buildings.
LaBarre also noted that it is a federal offense to break into a water or wastewater facility.
Due to the excessive snowfall that has inundated the area, Tuesday's meeting was the first this year for the authority, which was formed in 1997 and charged with controlling the borough's water system. Because it was the year meeting for 2014, it also served as the authority's official reorganization meeting and, as such, position appointments were made.
Jerry Hall was reappointed chairman, along with Joseph Civitella as vice chairman, Mathew Behler as treasurer and John Krebs as secretary. In addition, Tara Takerer was reappointed as clerk and also appointed, backdating to Jan, 1, assistant secretary.
The authority also reappointed Ettinger & Associates LLC as its solicitor; Van Cleff Engineer as its engineering firm; and France, Anderson, Basile and Co. as its auditor/CPA.
Other discussion topics Tuesday included the authority's recent purchase, which closed on Jan. 10, of the Tri-Valley Water System from Greg Sanders.
That system, which services Stone Ridge Manor in Lower Towamensing Township, cost $175,000. However, as noted during its November 2013 meeting, the authority took a loan for its purchase, thus residents will not incur an increase in water fees to cover its cost.
Among specifics discussed in regard to the new water system was a deadline for when Sanders should have the Tri-Valley building completely vacated and also how to accommodate him per a stipulation in the purchase agreement. That stipulation allows Sanders access to a certain amount of gallons of water per year, beginning in April, to draw out of the authority's system for a seasonal business he owns filling swimming pools.
Two concerns the authority expressed about Sanders accessing water from "Smitty's Well," a well along Fireline Road that the borough no longer uses, were where he could park his trucks there and also a viable way he could get his trucks on/off the roadway.