MORRISDALE — Morris Township’s appointment of a representative to the Moshannon Valley Joint Sewer Authority failed to produce results at a recent MVJSA board meeting.
In October, the board authorized Mark Rusnak to fill a seat declared open at an earlier meeting. The seat was and currently remains filled by Vic Couturiaux.
The township believes Couturiaux’s appointment in October 2020 is in question. According to Solicitor Dan Nelson, Couturiaux was appointed by the Municipal Authority of the Township of Morris prior to the end of his term, which ended Dec. 31, 2020.
For about 17 years, an agreement had given MATOM the ability to appoint members to the MVJSA board. That agreement was recently terminated.
At the recent MVJSA board meeting, the matter was discussed in detail, according to Nelson, who spoke on behalf of the township. The board decided to keep Couturiaux in the seat.
Rusnak attempted to vote at the meeting, but his vote was not recorded, according to Nelson. Couturiaux’s vote was noted.
The proceedings weren’t shocking to the township.
“We just wanted to have the board make a decision,” said Nelson. “We weren’t surprised.”
Nelson noted the township will likely discuss the matter at their November meeting, currently scheduled for Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. The township could get a judge involved in the matter.
Charles Eboch III, MVJSA representative and councilman at Chester Hill Borough, relayed the events at a recent Chester Hill Borough Council meeting.
“This doesn’t really affect us,” Eboch told the council. “Morris is trying to get rid of one of their members on the board.”
He noted that the board didn’t take action on the new appointment. The matter would now have to go to a judge should the township pursue giving Rusnak the seat.
Eboch stated that Morris Township is responsible for sorting through the issue. However, he offered his opinion on the two men for the seat.
“My opinion is that the member they want off has always been to every meeting,” Eboch said. “The other one they’re bringing in has gone before and he sort of missed a lot of meetings.”
Eboch also gave updates on a project by the authority. The project would replace the current chlorine disinfectant system with ultraviolet radiation. It would make the plant safer and more up to date. It would likely be done by April 2023, according to Eboch.
“Figure a year because things aren’t easy to get to right now,” Eboch said. “Supplies can take up to a year to get.”
The project is estimated to cost over $2 million. The authority is still seeking grant funding for the project.