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Lower Towamensing closes in on a sewer plan

Looks like Lower Towamensing Township could be ready in September to move to the next steps of the sewer plan.

Doug Kopp, a civil engineer with ARRO Consulting, told the supervisors on Tuesday that work on the computer aided design files is about 70% done. The work on the entire plan set is about 60% done.

“I’m very comfortable in saying that at the September meeting I can have all of that work completed, and I will be presenting the next steps at that point in time,” he said.

The sewer project has been under consideration for decades. It gained steam under Carbon Engineering in 2022, but stalled. ARRO Consulting took over the project in 2023, but progress was slow as they waited to receive all of the CAD drawings from Carbon Engineering, not knowing if they would have to start the project from the beginning.

Carbon wouldn’t release all of their work, because of a payment discrepancy with the township. By March of this year, ARRO was getting the CAD files it needed.

Kopp said at the meeting on Tuesday night that he would like to meet with the supervisors shortly before the September meeting to go over the plans. He wants to discuss anything he thinks should be changed and get their input.

Supervisor Michael Takerer asked him about an estimate on the cost of the project, and Kopp said it hasn’t been updated.

Takerer said, “I know I talked about approaching people and opening discussions regarding grant funding.”

Takerer said he will need a more solid number regarding the cost estimate and a comprehensive package before they can pursue grants.

“I wouldn’t mind doing some of the leg work as early as I can,” Takerer said.

Kopp said he would take a look at the costs for the collection system and talk to the engineers with Barry Isett and Associates, who work for Blue Mountain Resort, regarding the treatment plant.

For ARRO’s part, Kopp told the supervisors in March that the professional services agreement with them for the work would cost the township $103,000. He told them the township would not be charged anything above that cost, even if there are additional costs for their work.

As for the installation of the sewer line, back in February 2023, Brent Green, the then chairman of the supervisors, said project was estimated to cost $16 million under Carbon Engineering. The project was expected to serve 690 dwellings.

Green said at that time, “So 690 customers sharing the cost of $16 million dollars is a lot of money to put on those users. We can’t create more users, so that’s the whole issue moving forward.”