COOPER TWP. — Supervisor Chairman Terry Heimbach told the residents Thursday night that if not enough businesses and residents connect to the new public sewer system, the supervisors would have to raise taxes to enable the township to repay the PennVEST loan. The first payment of $10,000 is due in January.

About two dozen residents and business owners concerned about the hookup fees attended the supervisors meeting to let the officials know they were circulating petitions seeking reconsideration of the connection and monthly fees for the new public sewer system.

"There will be a number of residents, business owners who will be submitting a number of petitions to the sewer authority," resident Chris Pfaff told the supervisors.

He said the township potentially could lose businesses because of the fees.

"Hopefully, that issue is going to be resolved," said Heimbach, who urged residents to attend the Aug. 19 municipal authority meeting to ask questions. "Certainly, we don't want to see anybody close their door because of that."

Property owners face a hookup fee of at least $2,500, plus fees for inspection, permit and installation to be determined by the number of units, plus a monthly sewer bill. Diana Verbeck, executive director of the Danville Child Development Center, said earlier this week her nonprofit was looking at a $12,500 hookup fee and a $400 monthly sewer bill.

SEDA-COG offers grants to help pay for the connections. Supervisor Vice Chairman Tom Little said SEDA-COG would cover up to $5,000.

Resident Rick Kessler asked the supervisors if the rates were reviewed previously and what the effects would be on the sewer rates from developers deciding not to build a development or if businesses close.

Little said the loss of the development, which was to include 100 townhouses, would have no effect because that was not figured into the sewer connection rates. 

After the meeting, authority Chairman John Houston also encouraged residents to attend the Aug. 19 meeting.