The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Montour County

October 11, 2013

Valley to team with Cooper, Mahoning, Riverside to negotiate sewer fees

VALLEY TWP. — The Valley Township Municipal Authority believes it will be easier to negotiate with the Danville Municipal Authority as a collective group.

That’s why the authority plans to join with Cooper Township, Mahoning Township and Riverside borough to form a regional authority to discuss Valley Township connecting to the Danville sewer system, township solicitor Robert Buehner Jr. told the supervisors Wednesday night. He also serves as municipal authority solicitor.

He said there are still plans to create a regional sewer authority.

“There needs to be a coordinated effort to negotiate with Danville,” he said.

He said the Valley authority requested a sit-down meeting with the Danville authority and a meeting hasn’t been scheduled. The township authority hasn’t heard from the Danville authority since September, he said.

“To make matters worse, Danville is planning a $5.4 million collection system that has nothing or very little to do with Valley and Cooper and during the Danville engineer’s presentation he explained the only reason they were doing that was because Valley and Cooper are connecting to the system. That is totally false,” Buehner said.

He said the Valley authority negotiated a $200,000 cost it agreed to pay to connect to the Danville system but the Danville authority wants to charge a combined $1 million for connection fees.

While the township authority was told the Danville collection system and sewage treatment plant have been estimated at $45 million, an independent estimate put the system and plant at $20 million. The system and plant estimates are what Danville is basing its connection fees on, he said.

“We’re trying to do whatever we can to protect ratepayers in Valley Township,” he said.

He said the Danville authority seemed somewhat receptive to a proposal for Valley Township residents to pay the $32 residential rate which Danville residents pay plus Valley paying extra costs for its system instead of what Buehner called a complicated, five-prong formula previously discussed.

There are 270 customers in the township, including commercial and residential, that would connect to the system.

Currently, Mahoning Township and Riverside use Danville’s system. Part of Cooper Township is expected to connect to the system.

Valley Township is proposed to be connected to the Danville system along a Danville right of way near Perkins Restaurant.

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