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Greencastle water hookup ruling backed up

April 17, 2007|by JENNIFER FITCH

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Ten Greencastle-area homeowners continue to await word on whether they will be forced to hook onto public water lines at an estimated cost of $6,000 each.

The majority of the group attended Monday's Greencastle Area Water Authority meeting looking for a resolution to their quandary, but the authority tabled the matter until next month's meeting.

At issue is whether the homeowners in the Hess development - on and around Kimberly Drive - should be required to follow an ordinance mandating that anyone within 150 feet of a public water line connect to it.

Crews are preparing to run a water line past the homes to reach the new Shadowcreek development, which officials say is in need of additional water pressure. Fred Young, a spokesman for the residents, has referred to the existing houses as "casualties in the way."

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Nine of the affected homes have functioning wells, and one has a cistern, he said.

Several residents at the meeting said they are the original or second owners of the houses built in the early 1970s.

The Antrim Township Supervisors have granted the residents an exemption from the connection requirement, but an intergovernmental cooperation agreement means the water authority must do the same to exclude the homes.

Authority member Robert M. Miller asked for the decision to be tabled, saying he fears setting a precedent and would prefer that the authority's solicitor be present for consultation.

Miller took issue with supervisors' comments as described by Young, who said, "They said it was never their intent to have existing homeowners be affected by this."

"I must say it's kind of naive for them to say they didn't think it would affect (people) whose houses it runs by," Miller said.

The supervisors last week said the ordinance was designed to ensure new homes connect to public water.




Two sides of the water issue



Homeowners' issues, as described by Fred Young:

· Not properly notified of water-line work

· Tap fee alone to connect to water line would be $6,000

· Wells are functioning satisfactorily

· Connection would require drilling through limestone, with potential added cost

Greencastle Area Water Authority issues, as presented by member Robert M. Miller:

· Authority stands to make $60,000 initially

· Pennsylvania has initiatives to get more people on public water service

· Granting an exemption would set a precedent

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