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Washington Township Applies to DEP to Rerate Sewer Plant
Written by Mary Gibbs Kershner, Correspondent

            Washington Township Board of Supervisors held a quiet meeting on April 15.  Township Sewage Engineer Thomas Unger, of SDS Engineering, informed the supervisors the application to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to rerate the township's sewer facility for a higher hydrologic capacity has begun.

            SDS Engineering, as the township's sewage engineer, is the lead engineering firm on the DEP application.  Ebert Engineering, the engineers who represent the developer of Spring Valley Village, will coordinate with SDS Engineering during the application process.  Spring Valley Village, a senior community located in the township, needs approximately 52 Equivalent Dwelling Units (EDUs) to complete its project. 

            At this time there are no plans to utilize a "pump and haul" system for any new units in the development.  The developer of Spring Valley Village will pay the cost of the application to rerate the sewer plant.  Unger noted the application to DEP should take approximately two months.  He also reported that all the engineers involved in the process are coordinating well.

            In a related sewer matter, Unger informed the Board of Supervisors that MGK will install a control upgrade at the Weinstiger Pump Station.  The cost of the upgrade, which is a capital improvement to the pump station, is $35,485. 

For the last several months the board has discussed the possible construction of a public works building to store township equipment.  Unger explained he needed more direction from the supervisors because the cost of a concrete slab, insulation, and lumber for the building has risen dramatically. He noted the price of lumber has risen almost 50% in the last few months. 

Township Supervisor Tom Powanda observed, "The longer we wait, it will cost more money." 

            The supervisors agreed to a dimensional waiver from 50 feet to 10 feet for lots 6 through 10 in the Clover Hill development located in the township.  The lots are situated near the defunct Buckeye Pipeline. 

            The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has not yet informed the township when work on the Ehst Road/Route 100 storm water project will commence.  The township intends to make Ehst Road one-way.  However, action on the matter has been delayed until the storm water project is completed. 

            Township Engineer John Weber, LTL Consultants, informed the supervisors that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) approved the permit for the Haight School House Road culvert.  The township will do the routine maintenance on the culvert.

            In other matters, two residents of Upper Hanover Township, whose properties are near the Kelly Builders/Shadeland Developers' property located along County Line and Schwenkenfelder Roads in Washington Township, informed the supervisors about a meeting at the Berks County Court of Common Pleas on Tuesday, April 27th.  The meeting concerned the township's conditional use denial of Kelly Builders/Shadeland Developers' appeal to the Berks County Court of Common Pleas. 

            Township Solicitor Joan London informed the supervisors she would make no public comment on pending litigation.  Several months ago, Kelly Builders/Shadeland Developers requested a conditional use to erect a clubhouse on approximately 168 acres of land it owns.  At the conditional use hearing the developer did not present any formal plans for a development. 

            The Washington Township Planning Commission recommended denial of the clubhouse application.  The supervisors concurred.  The neighboring property owners expressed their concern, if the property were ever developed, about flooding along the roadway, a narrow bridge, and poor line of sight along County Line Road.  They also noted there have been two fatalities along the road. 

            The Eastern Berks Fire Company sent a fundraising letter to residents requesting support.  Township Chairman Dave Moyer said, "Help them out. A donation goes a long way."

            Chairman Moyer reminded citizens of the township who are eligible to vote on May 18th, "Be responsible.  Do your duty and vote." 

            The next Washington Township Board of Supervisors meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 27, at 7 p.m.





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