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Quincy Township to get sewers

August 10, 2000|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Waynesboro

Quincy Township to get sewers



QUINCY TOWNSHIP, Pa. - Public sewers are coming to Quincy Township for the first time and more than 500 homeowners in this Franklin County community are being asked to convey property rights of way for sewer lines without being paid for those property rights of way.

Nearly 250 Quincy township residents learned details about the $8.7 million project for the first time at a meeting this week in the town's community center. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection ordered the township to install sewers back in 1993. The local sewer authority is just now getting around to obtaining the rights of way for the more than 20 miles of underground sewer lines that will feed effluent from homes and businesses into a 300,000-gallon-per-day treatment plant off Nunnery Road.

Authority member Paul Gunder told the residents that full funding for the project will come from a federal Farmers Home Administration loan that will be repaid at 4.5 percent interest over 40 years.

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It will cost property owners $1,000 to hook up to the system. Each will pay a $40-a-month sewer fee, the amount needed to repay the 40-year loan.

Gunder cautioned that the monthly rate could go up in the future. "We have to employ people to run the plant and salaries go up," he said.

The lines will run through the village of Quincy, along Pa. 997 which runs through the village plus sections of Tomstown, Fairview, Fox Hill, Slabtown and Furnace roads.

The system is scheduled to serve more than 500 customers sometime in the summer of 2001. It will be mostly gravity fed with one pumping station. Small pumps will be installed at low-lying properties. The pumps will be free but property owners will be responsible for their maintenance.

As of Wednesday less than 25 percent of the necessary rights of way had been obtained, said Kerry Bumbaugh, a member of the sewer authority and a Quincy Township Supervisors.

Residents who resist giving up their property will have it taken away through eminent domain, Gunder said. "We're telling you, you have to do it." he said. "I know that's hard to accept, but we have to have sewers for everyone. There's not much we can do about it."

It is estimated that most homeowners will pay between $500 and $600 for the trench from the public sewer line to their homes. Sewer authority inspectors will check all hookups before the trench is back filled, Bumbaugh said. "That way we can protect property owners from by fly-by-night contractors. The work will have to be done right," he said.

Homeowners will hire plumbers to tie their plumbing into the system and disconnect it from their septic systems. They will also have to pay to have their septic tanks pumped out and filled in.

The big reason for the new system is to protect ground water supplies and wells from the hundreds of proven and suspected failing private septic systems in the Quincy area, authority members said.

If the sewer line goes by a property, the owner has to hook on. The only exceptions are those whose dwellings are more than 300 feet from the line.

Several older residents complained that the cost of hooking on to the system would be a burden on their fixed incomes. Bumbaugh said those eligible can get assistance through Community Block Grant funds from the Franklin County Commissioners.

Township Supervisor Joseph said the sewer system is designed to promote growth in areas near existing populated areas. The Farmers Home Administration loan prohibits sewer lines from being extended into farmland.

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