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Residents hot over $6,000 hookup fee

April 11, 2007|by JENNIFER FITCH

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - The potential $6,000 water-line tap fee looming for 10 residents on and around Kimberly Drive could put some in dire straits financially, they said at Tuesday's Antrim Township Supervisors meeting.

The power of attorney for one woman in attendance - a 94-year-old whose husband died three weeks ago - said the fee would be her entire annual income.

A spokesman for the group, Fred Young, said he was only given the tentative figure for the fee after being pushed around by several municipal boards and employees. One of the residents' primary complaints is that they were only notified about the mandatory hookup about a month ago through a letter stuck in doors.

Thomas Moore said he found his in the weeds.

"It wasn't an official document. It was something somebody stuck in my door, and it blew out," Moore said.

The Greencastle Area Water Authority is installing a line from near the Food Lion Distribution Center, under the railroad tracks and past the disgruntled residents' houses in the Hess development, residents and township officials said.

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The authority is attempting to increase water pressure in the Shadowcreek housing development to the south.

A township ordinance requires that homes within 150 feet of a water line hook up to the line.

"They are trying to boost the water pressure in the new development, and we are just the casualties in the way," Young said.

Everyone in the Hess development has a well, except one house with a cistern, Young said.

"We're not opposed to them running a water line through our development. ... We're opposed to being forced to hook onto it," Young said.

Although the supervisors favored exempting the residents from mandatory hookup, they said an intergovernmental cooperation agreement adopted approximately seven years gives the Greencastle Area Municipal Authority equal say in the matter.

"Even if this board says you are exempt, the Greencastle Area Municipal Authority can still make you connect," said John Lisko, solicitor for the supervisors.

The purpose of the intergovernmental cooperation agreement regarding mandatory hookups was to prevent new houses from drilling wells that would pull on the aquifer, Township Manager Ben Thomas said.

The water line's path has been surveyed, and it is being installed, residents said.

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