Just because there's a new sewer line running by your home doesn't necessarily mean you'll have to connect - at least in Hilltown.
Rich Manfredi, chairman of the supervisors, said that the township decided to draft and enact the new ordinance because the cost of connecting to a sewer line was deemed a possible hardship for residents. Under the new ordinance, residents would not have to connect to a new or existing line unless their on-site private sewage system was deemed to be failing by the Bucks County Department of Health or the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. In that instance, residents would have the option to remedy the failing system to the agency's satisfaction or alternately tie into the public system.
The original 30-year-old ordinance that the new ordinance replaces was drafted to meet approval by the financial institutions that financed the original infrastructure of Hilltown's public system, according to Grabowski. The bank needed to know there would be customers and a demand for the service provided by the system, so the township required residents along the new lines to tie into those lines.
Today, most new sewer lines are at the
request of developers and are in large part paid for by those
developers, so the township no longer has a need for the requirements
of the original ordinance.
The newly enacted ordinance does require any new construction requiring public sanitary sewer service to tie into the lines, as well as any new building lots. In addition, any building that is converted from a single or dual-residential use to a non-residential use or multi-residential use would have to tie into the system. Finally, any existing non-residential or multi-residential structures determined to have failing on-site systems would also be required to tie into the existing lines.
Supervisor Jack McIlhinney asked Grabowski how the ordinance would apply to new sewer lines that were being extended in certain areas since the ordinance states "existing public sanitary sewer line." Grabowski said that once a new line is extended, it then is considered an existing line and is therefore still applicable under the ordinance.
Salvadore said the ordinance has been in the works for the past year
and is one of the first items that McIlhinney approached the board
about working on when he was elected. She said she felt it was the
right decision for the township and thanked McIlhinney for his work.
Marilyn Teed, a resident of Mill Road, thanked the supervisors for considering the ordinance.
"It seems like you're really thinking about the people in your township," said Teed.
In other business at the Jan. 29 meeting, supervisors interviewed and appointed three members to the township's planning commission and honored outgoing members. Residents Lori McCauley and Jeff Lapp were each appointed to a four-year term of the planning commission, while Kirk Hansen was appointed to a two-year term.
In addition, Teed, who had also interviewed for the planning commission vacancies, was appointed to an opening on the township parks and recreation board. The township still has an opening on its Open Space committee, and said it will consider any interested applicants as well as those who interviewed for the planning commission but were not selected.
Township supervisors also presented plaques to Mike Beatrice, Ken Beer, Andy Lesczynski and D. Brooke Rush for their time on the township planning commission and park and recreation board.
©Montgomery Newspapers 2007