The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Montour County

November 6, 2013

Danville scraps regional sewer plan

DANVILLE — A plan to regionalize sewer services in the area has been scrapped.

“The Danville Municipal Authority could not see where there would be any benefit for us to pursue it any further. We have spent the last three years discussing it,” Authority Chairman Walter Shultz said after Tuesday night’s Danville Borough Council meeting.

The authority submitted a letter to the council stating it passed a motion stating it no longer wishes to consider sewer regionalization.

Authority members recommended ceasing further investigation of the regionalization process “because we fail to see any benefit to the citizens of the borough of Danville.” The letter, to Borough Council President Dick Johns, was dated Oct. 14 and signed by Shultz.

The borough council Tuesday night mirrored the authority’s motion from that Oct. 14 meeting.

Shultz said the committee to pursue sewer regionalization was formed in October 2010 and guided by the Montour County commissioners and SEDA-COG.

“Financially there would not be any advantage to the borough. Bigger isn’t necessarily better,” he said.

He said regionalization would not result in sewer bills being lowered for borough residents.

As for part of Cooper Township connecting to use Danville’s sewer system, he said the authority doesn’t know if that will happen. “They have some money for building a system but nothing in the ground,” he said.

The part of Valley Township connected to its own sewer system had proposed to use Danville’s system but recently township officials objected to what Danville wanted to charge the township.

During the last township supervisors meeting, township solicitor Robert Buehner Jr. said the Valley Township Municipal Authority believes it would be easier to negotiate with the Danville authority as a collective group.

At that time, Buehner said the authority planned to join Cooper Township, Mahoning Township and Riverside borough to form a regional authority to discuss Valley Township connecting to the Danville sewer system. Buehner also serves as solicitor for the Valley and Cooper municipal authorities.

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

Johns said the council will release a letter later this week thanking those who worked toward regionalization.

At the Danville council meeting, borough solicitor Robert Marks Sr. thanked the commissioners and SED-COG for their efforts.

“We still desire to produce a good product of water and sewer at the least possible price,” Marks said.

The Danville sewage treatment plant serves the borough, Mahoning Township and Riverside.

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