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Upper Frederick Applies for $1 Million Grant, Approves Water, Sewer Rate Hikes
Written by Mark Nolan, Correspondent

            On Oct. 12, the Upper Frederick Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve a resolution authorizing the preparation and submission of a grant application for a local share account grant for $1 million, the maximum amount the township can apply for.

            These funds are intended for the water and hydrant upgrade project in the Perkiomen Crossing housing development. The board also authorized engineering firm Spotts, Stevens, and McCoy to prepare the submission for a fee not to exceed $4,000. The application must be submitted by the end of November 2023.

            The board voted unanimously to approve water fee increases of $2 per month to the current flat fee of $14 per month, $2 per 1,000 gallons to the current consumption fee of $6.25 per 1,000 gallons, and $10 per month in sewer fees. The new rates will become effective Jan. 1, 2024. Additional future rate increases cannot be ruled out.

            The township's sewer account is currently operating in the red, requiring the township to transfer funds from the water account to the sewer account to cover the deficit.

            Board chair Sean Frisco noted that there has been no increase in water or sewer fees for the residents of Perkiomen Crossing in the previous 10 years.

            On Oct. 10, township manager Tracey Tackett met with the Perkiomen Crossing homeowners association and gave a PowerPoint presentation detailing: the status of the water and hydrant upgrade project, the water and sewer budget, projected revenues generated based on different rate increase scenarios, grants the township is applying for, and the township's intent to develop long term plans for water and sewer funding. Tackett described the meeting as positive.

            After a brief public hearing, the board voted unanimously to renew its Comcast franchise agreement. Currently, Upper Frederick receives 5 percent of the revenue generated by Comcast within the township, which amounts to approximately $75,000 in annual franchise fees. This is the maximum percentage of revenue the township is allowed. The township was successful in reducing the length of the contract from 12 years to 10 years.

            During the month of September, Upper Frederick's EMS provider, Plymouth Community Ambulance Association, responded to 22 calls within the township, 12 of which were in the Frederick Living Community. Upper Frederick Fire Co. responded to 11 calls.

            Effective Oct. 10, Patrick Corcoran has resigned as the Upper Frederick fire chief. No reason was given. The remaining fire company officers will handle the chief's responsibilities until a new chief is designated.

            On Sept. 26, the Upper Frederick Fire Co. participated in a federally mandated drill at the Limerick Nuclear Generating Station. They were evaluated by both the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Official results of this evaluation have yet to be made public, but issues noted at the time were minor.






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