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Sewer Issue Back and Forth Between Bally and Washington Township
Written by Mary Gibbs Kershner
2019-07-10

            At the direction of Washington Township Board of Supervisors, Rich Mingey, last Tuesday night, sought information from Bally Borough on when he can expect sewer service through the agreement between the two municipalities. 

            Mingey is a landowner of several hundred acres in Washington Township whose properties, for sewer and water, would be serviced through Bally Borough.  Currently, Bally is under a moratorium on sewer connections through the Corrective Action Plan (CAP) from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) because of infiltration and inflow (I and I) into its storm sewer system.  DEP allotted Washington Township and Bally limited sewer connections until 2020. 

            For many months, Mingey has gone between the two municipalities in an attempt to receive an answer as to how he can utilize sewer and water services to his properties that are permitted based on a contract between Washington Township and Bally.

            Washington Township has a contract with Bally through 2025 for $1.4 million for 100,000 gallons of sewer services.  Currently, the township has only used 10,000 gallons.  Mingey contends Washington Township has 90,000 gallons of sewer capacity it has not utilized.  That capacity could potentially generate a great deal of revenue for the township. 

            According to Mingey, by 2025, Washington Township is contracted to pay $1.4 million dollars to Bally for sewer services it has not yet received. 

            Borough Manager Wendy Mutter acknowledged Washington Township paid 35% of the upgrades to Bally's sewer facility.

            Mingey said, "I am tired of the runaround."  He noted Bally is under a DEP CAP because "it has a history of overflows and violations that go back years." 

            Mutter answered, "When the contract was agreed, no one anticipated a CAP from DEP."  She also noted the borough has spent a great deal of money to repair its sewer infiltration and inflow problems.

            She explained that Washington Township has been denied nothing by the borough.  She said, "Until now, Washington Township has not requested any sewer connections."  She noted if the township requested the sewer connections, the borough could not supply them because of the DEP sewer moratorium. 

            Mingey replied, "You cannot sell something you do not have." 

            "Washington Township says go to Bally," Mingey continued.  'Bally says go to Washington Township.  I am tired of the mess." 

            Bally Borough Council President Glen Mutter noted, "DEP controls us." 

            Manager Mutter suggested to Mingey that Washington Township should apply to Bally for a formal request for sewer service.  Then, Bally would look at the sewer service area of the properties that Mingey owns.

            In other matters, Saint Francis Academy plans a 5K run/walk fund raiser, dependent upon weather, either on September 7th or September 14th.  Mingey, who owns Dogwood Street, agreed to permit the street to be used as part of the 5K run if he receives an insurance waiver from the participants.  Jennifer Carr and Caroline Graczyk requested the borough council contact the fire department for assistance from the fire police during the event.

            Manager Mutter asked the borough council to pursue a use and occupancy permit ordinance when a property in the borough is resold.  The use and occupancy ordinance would cover sump pumps that discharge into the sewer system as well as sewer laterals and curbs.

            The borough council agreed to preapprove the video inspection of sewer lines that were not previously done.  It is anticipated the cost will be less than $40,000.  

            Manager Mutter noted the borough should consider an ordinance that would regulate fireworks in the borough because of the danger.

            Bally Borough Council replaced Spotts, Stevens, & McCoy as its engineer with its previous engineer, Systems Design Engineering (SDS).  

            Joel Pilgert was sworn in as a Borough Councilman by Borough Secretary Tina Short.  Pilgert replaces Councilman Matt Merry who resigned.  

            Eastern Berks Fire Company will hold a chicken barbecue on August 17 beginning at 1 p.m.

            The fire company thanked the Bally Police Department for its assistance when Main Street was shut down during a recent accident.


 

 

 

 

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