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Chambersburg Borough Council votes to pursue sewer line extension

June 30, 2004|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

Bowing to the wishes of property owners along South Main Street and Mill Road, the Chambersburg Borough Council voted Monday night to go ahead with a $705,000 sewer line extension, rather than a larger, more expensive project that could have also served an undeveloped portion of town.

In December, Congressman Bill Shuster, R-9th, announced a $530,000 federal grant for the project, which would extend sewer service to 33 properties along South Main and Mill Road that have on-lot septic systems.

Two weeks ago, the council was asked to consider a proposal for a larger project that would have taken in undeveloped land south of Mill Road and increased the cost to more than $1 million. Some council members were concerned that expanding the scope of the project would delay construction beyond 2005.

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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.

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