DuBois clarifies misinformation|
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
By Josh Woods Staff Writer
DUBOIS - Misinformation was voiced to Sandy Township residents at a recent Board of Supervisors meeting in regard to city-owned water that is being hauled on Platt Road, Mayor Gary Gilbert said in a prepared statement at last night's DuBois City Council meeting.
Gilbert said legally each Pennsylvania municipality can only govern subdivision and land use located within their corporate boundaries, and before Enron Oil & Gas was given approval to locate in the Sandy Township Industrial District issues such as noise, truck traffic and hours of operation should have been worked out by the appropriate Sandy Township review board.
"Who a business buys product from or sells product to is irrelevant," said Gilbert. "Where the business is located and pays taxes is the only relevant factor in deciding whose responsibility it is in handling any problems."
Gilbert said EOG's business intent to haul large volumes of water via truck for gas well drilling was clearly defined from the very start, Knowledge that many heavy trucks would travel on a township road was evident when EOG widened and upgraded Platt Road with approval and oversight from Sandy Township's supervisors, he said.
"We suggest that Platt Road residents encourage their elected Sandy Township officials to contact and meet with EOG representatives regarding these concerns."
Platt Road residents Ruth Dunlap and John Tapper attended last night's meeting and spoke during public comment. Both residents asked city council if it could limit the water hauling operation to daylight hours. Dunlap said noise created by truck traffic on Platt Road is causing her and her husband to lose sleep at night and is making her suffer headaches.
City Manager John "Herm" Suplizio said downtown truck traffic is also an issue, and both he and Sandy Township Manager Dick Castonguay met with the state Department of Transportation to discuss an alternate route. PennDOT officials suggested moving signage and creating an alternate route that would take truck traffic from Dixon Avenue left toward DuBois Avenue and DuBois Street. Suplizio said he is seeking public comment on the issue.
Police Chief Mike DiLullo said rerouting the traffic would likely resolve one issue and create another. He said there would be an issue with trucks making a right turn at Jim's Atlantic and corners at DuBois and Main Streets and rerouting traffic might cause it to back up.
Suplizio said the rerouted area is more residential, as well. Railroad and emergency vehicle issues might also occur.
In other business, Suplizio said several issues at the city's sewage treatment plant are forcing him to ask for a rate increase. Suplizio suggested raising pre-treatment costs and a rate increase of 50 cents, the equivalent of $1 for a property owner who uses 2,000 gallons per month. Several items have made the rate increase necessary:
• three primary pumps at the sewage plant are 45 years old and running very inefficiently, and the cost to replace them is $50,000 each.
• the plant's centrifuge needs to be enclosed at a cost of $145,000.
• the city is mandated by the state Department of Environmental Protection to keep repairing and replacing sewer lines to get all unnecessary inflow out of the system.
• More than $100,000 has been spent to find the surfactant that is causing fleas and minnows to die.
• a PennDOT bridge inspection at the plant deemed its bridge unsafe and the cost to repair it is approximately $150,000.
• electrical controls for the secondary building need to be relocated at a cost of $125,000.
Suplizio said plans to address each of these items are under way and a rate increase from $7.50 to $8 should take care of them.
A motion was made and approved to direct Solicitor Toni Cherry to draft an ordinance proposing a rate increase.
Jeff Baronick, DuBois Community Days co-organizer gave an update on the event. The 21st annual DuBois Community Days is planned for June 15-16 and features a live talk radio interview and autograph session with Pittsburgh Steelers Antonio Brown and Wes Lyons and a drum and bugle corps competition. The drum and bugle corps competition is slated for 2-4 p.m. on June 16, and each unit would participate in the firemen's parade at 5 p.m. Brown and Lyons would serve as grand marshals for the parade. Zambelli International will set off fireworks after the parade.
Baronick said other live entertainment includes the Wild World of Animals educational show for all ages, Skinny German Juggle Boy, The Mechanical Man human robot, and Professor Paddy Whack the one-man junk band. Nashville's Savannah Jack who has opened several dates for Kenny Rogers and The Band X from Atlanta, Ga. are also scheduled to perform, he said.
An executive session was held after the meeting for personnel reasons.
Councilwoman Diane Bernardo was absent from the meeting.
DuBois City Council's next meeting is June 11 at 7 p.m. at the city building. A work session is planned for June 7 at 4 p.m.