A vote was delayed while Borough Manager Eric Oyer determined if there were plans to develop the open land. Oyer told the council that a developer made an offer to one of the property owners for a 57-acre parcel.
"They don't have the land. They don't know if they'll get the land," Oyer said of the developer.
The developer was, however, willing to contribute money to the south-end sanitary sewer project if the land deal goes through.
"I think we need a rock-solid commitment of a developer to step up with money," Council President William McLaughlin said. Without that, he said the borough should go forward with the sewer project as originally envisioned.
"The grant we got was to solve a particular problem," he said.
"I'm glad it happened. It's been a long time and this is going to be a real sewer system, not the one they proposed four or five years ago," said Gene Leeper. The previous proposal was to put pumps in each of the on-lot systems and connect them with the sewer lines of a nearby development, he said.
Ron Bowman owns properties on Mill Road and said he pumps the septic tanks every three months to prevent problems. He said the grant needs to be used for the purpose for which it was intended.
"Let the land developer deal with that when they develop it," he said.
The council approved paying $74,900 to Buchart-Horn, a York, Pa., engineering firm, to design and bid the project.
The larger project would have required about 2,200 more feet of sewer lines and moving the pumping station from north of Mill Road to a lower elevation on the south side of the road, said Carl Rundquist, the borough's water and sewer superintendent.
Oyer said two weeks ago that another pumping station south of Mill Road may be needed once the open land is developed.