Clearfield Municipal Authority was updated on several projects at its recent meeting.
Authority Engineer John Balliet of Altoona-based Gwin, Dobson & Foreman reported on a letter sent to the Susquehanna River Basin Commission noting the authority’s intention to abandon well No. 1 at the Montgomery Reservoir once work to install alarms and shutdown systems at the Montgomery Dam is complete.
Balliet said, “(The request was made) due to the poor water quality and to avoid costly aquifer testing and renewing permitting of the well.” He said the authority recently received a notice from SRBC inquiring about also abandoning wells No. 4 and 5.
Balliet said he was uncertain whether giving up use of the two wells was a good idea. He said both should be tested for water volume and pressure before a decision is made and he is working on determining a cost.
“The wells are of value to the authority. Once we get a price on the testing, we can made an educated guess as to whether to seek new permits from them or not. Having them will help if the dam should go off line,” Balliet said.
Manager John Williams updated members on the project to upgrade the billing system and change from quarterly to monthly billing.
Williams told the board the process to switch over to a monthly billing system is in transition. He said he believes the new system would go live in May.
“That will give us time to get all the information into the system and to feel comfortable using it,” he said, adding, “We thought May was best. There will be a brief period of several days when we are putting the data in that we won’t be able to credit payments but everything looks like it should be set to go.”
Members also discussed progress on the project for the authority to assume control of Clearfield Borough’s and Lawrence Township’s sanitary sewer collection systems. Solicitor John Ryan said the agreements were mailed out Dec. 11. He reported being in communication with Clearfield Borough who requested a minor language change in the agreement but to date he has not heard anything from Lawrence Township.
Chairman Russ Triponey said the lag is unacceptable.
“We need to nudge them. They can’t drag their feet any longer. They are holding this up.”
Ryan said he would follow up with the township’s solicitor.
The authority plans to take over both municipalities’ wastewater collection systems. Both the borough and the township have incurred debt associated with upgrading their respective systems to meet DEP and federal Environmental Protection Agency requirements.
CMA will be assuming the debt taken on by both municipalities to upgrade their systems and will likely be called on to make immediate improvements to both systems, according to previously published reports.
The borough currently has four loans and the township two loans from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority associated with work done over the years to upgrade or extend the collection and treatment system. The township also has a private $2 million loan with nine years left outstanding, which the authority hopes to refinance, according to previously published reports.