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Developers, township water authority reach accord

December 06, 2006|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Washington Boulevard, LLC and the Washington Township Municipal Authority (WTMA) reached an agreement Tuesday evening that would allow Washington Boulevard to progress with building almost three miles of water main lines that will serve future homes along Washington Township Boulevard.

The agreement was a compromise between the two groups to ensure progression on the boulevard and responsibility for any liabilities associated with maintenance or quality of water from the existing section of the water main.

Additionally, the agreement exempted the six developers from paying a fee to reserve water capacity in the system for 10 years in exchange for Washington Boulevard dedicating the existing line to WTMA immediately.

The agreement was prompted by a delay in the project to build the boulevard, according to Robert Schefter, general counsel for Washington Boulevard.

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Schefter said the six developers that make up Washington Boulevard LLC signed an agreement with WTMA in December 2005 that said the developers would construct the water main along with the boulevard from Old Forge Road to Pa. 997. Currently, he said about two-thirds of the water main is constructed and runs between Old Forge Road and Gehr Road.

R. Lee Royer, engineer, said the project was delayed after changes were made to plans for the boulevard between Gehr Road and Pa. 997, requiring additional approval.

He explained that the rest of the water main cannot be installed until plans for the boulevard are approved by the Washington Township board of supervisors.

Representing two of the six developers on Tuesday, Ronnie Martin said the group needed some assurance that the project will move forward.

"The four developers on the other side have put a lot of money into the line and now we got squat. How can we know the project will continue?" he asked.

Until supervisors approve the plans and construction on the water main can continue, Schefter said the agreement reached Tuesday will insure both the WTMA and the developers' interests in the project.

Suzanne Miller Trinh, solicitor for the WTMA, said the authority's largest concern was over liability for the existing line.

"WTMA is on the hook for maintenance and quality of water no matter who owns the line," she said.

Royer said the agreement reached will not affect water service to houses currently connected to the main in the Spring Run development east of Gehr Road.

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