Parkland Press

Monday, August 19, 2019

Developer offers to pay water, sewer hook-up

Thursday, June 13, 2019 by SUSAN RUMBLE Special to The Press in Local News

South Whitehall commissioners granted approval recently to a 50-foot-high, 156,000-square-foot warehouse for 4741 Chapmans Road.

The plan includes 122 standard parking spaces, two large parking slots, 27 trailer parking positions and nine over-sized spaces.

As conditional use was granted to Griffin Industrial Realty for the warehouse in January.

The May meeting focused primarily on water and sewer connections for property owners nearby.

Commissioner David Bond raised the issue of costs that may be incurred by residents who live along the water and sewer lines, which will be installed by the developer.

“These homeowners will have expenses to connect,” Bond said.

Kevin Horvath, of Keystone Engineering, commented on the matter on behalf of Griffin.

“We’re not proposing to install these lines on private property,” Horvath said. “These physical improvements are in the easement.”

Board President Christina “Tori” Morgan said if water and sewer lines run past a property, the South Whitehall ordinance requires residents to hook in.

Assistant Public Works Manager Jerry Charvala stated the connection cost for each of the four or five property owners would be $20,000.

Horvath asked whether a waiver could be granted to the residents to avoid connecting to the new water and sewer lines with the associated high cost.

Commissioner Glenn Block suggested deferring on the matter until more information could be obtained.

“There’s a lot more questions than answers,” Morgan said.

At that point, Scott Bosco of Griffin Industrial Realty stepped forward with an offer.

“We will pick up the full cost of the installation and tapping and connection fees to the homes,” Bosco said.

Commissioners appeared surprised, and grateful for Griffin’s contribution.

If residents accept the hook-up, their water rate will be $6.25 per 1,000 gallons and the sewer rate $3.99 per 1,000 gallons with billing every quarter.

Charvala noted if a resident chooses to continue using existing on-site well and septic system instead of a connection to the township lines, the ordinance mandates fees of $110 a quarter for water, $87.50 for sewer and a $25 base charge.

Those costs must be paid even if a resident is not using the township services.