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More Sewer Issues Reported in East Greenville
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2020-01-09

            Sewer issues in East Greenville continue to flow to the surface. On Monday, borough council heard the story of a resident forced to contend with contaminated water in her basement last summer.

            Doris Renninger, a 90-year-old resident of the 500 block of Third Street, was forced to spend approximately $5,000 to clean up the damage from flooding that occurred July 11, according to a relative.

            A presentation by Kelly McEllroy animated Mayor Keith Gerhart, who appeared at Upper Montgomery Joint Authority's December meeting to advocate for a Colonial Village resident who dealt with identical issues the same day. Gerhart said he's recently heard from two other property owners in the same community forced to contend with overflowing sewer water.

            "I thought she was the only one," the mayor said following the meeting. "After this meeting, I expect to hear from more people."

            The authority's board of directors are aware of four homes on Hamilton Street and one on Third Street that recently experienced incidents of flooding, according to Ryan M. Pugh, one of East Greenville's two representatives.

            Gerhart said he suspects most of the issues in the borough occur in the southwest portion of the borough, which is located in a low point. The mayor directed any residents who dealt with similar issues to attend an UMJA meeting, held on the second Tuesday of every month, tell their stories and provide receipts.

            "I'm not giving up on this," he said during the meeting.

            During East Greenville's initial 2020 meeting, McEllroy explained that her husband's grandmother lost several valued personal items and received no financial assistance from her home insurance provider or the Upper Montgomery Joint Authority's insurance provider.

            "I'm here to discuss an issue I feel has not been addressed. There are many residents who have not been made whole, including Doris."

            According to McEllroy, Renninger heard water coming into her basement at 4 p.m. on July, 11, the day of severe downpours. She said neighbors were helping the elderly woman remove items when she arrived, and that they needed to borrow a submersible pump to keep the water level, which peaked at 12 inches, at bay.

            Family members spent two weeks cleaning the basement and sanitizing what items could be salvaged. Two boilers needed major repairs, and a washer and dryer were ruined, according to McEllroy. She said the problem related to the main lateral at Renninger's home, not any plumbing issues.

            Last month, the mayor addressed UMJA's board on behalf of Lucinda "Cindi" Drayer, who lives at who lives at 713 Hamilton Road. Gerhart said Drayer has spent approximately $10,000 cleaning up her home after sewer water, which shot out of a toilet in a powder room, flooded the entire first floor of her residence.

            After Monday's meeting, Gerhart said he recently heard from property owners at 715 and 717 Hamilton Road. Both first floors were completely flooded.

            Increased rain – both in terms of intensity and quantity over the last 10 years – has led to the flooding, according to Michael Perlow, who ended a term on the board at the end of last year. He said during the meeting that excess groundwater that seeps into aging sewer pipes creates system backups.

            In other news, the members reelected Angie Fegely as council president during their reorganization portion of the meeting. They also voted to appoint Doug Criddle as the vice president. Joe Rock will serve as the president pro tempore.

            Melissa Leinbach, the council's newest member, nominated Jim Raftery for all three positions. His motion for president received only three affirmative votes: from Leinbach, Alison Palmer and the candidate. The members never got the chance to vote for Raftery as vice president because Criddle's nomination received support from Fegely, Lon Brinckman II, Rock and the designee. The same quartet voted to approve Rock's nomination.

            The Borough of East Greenville's police department responded to 84 incidents in December, according to information provided by the mayor. Chief Randy Morris identified 28 traffic incidents, eight for public service, seven assists, two for parking and one each for theft, accidents, domestic, animal and criminal/mischief. The document identifies 34 incidents characterized as "other".


 

 

 

 

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