Washington Township utility manager says agency planning for the future

January 01, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, PA. ? In response to accusations that the Washington Township Municipal Authority is not planning for the future, its manager circulated a memo saying the water and sewer management authority "is taking concrete steps now to be well prepared for expected expansion."

Tensions developed between some of the Washington Township Supervisors and representatives of WTMA in the latter half of 2007.

In late November, some of the supervisors accused WTMA of not planning for the future and the homes expected to be built in the township. Supervisor Carroll Sturm said he calculated a shortage in equivalent dwelling units (EDUs), a measurement of water production.

Sean McFarland, WTMA manager, sent a memo to the supervisors saying that one developer's EDU credits were counted twice in the analysis provided by the supervisors. Also, he questioned which subdivisions were included in a "miscellaneous" category presented by the supervisors.

"It is also worth noting that of the total figure for projected development and needed water (3,633 units), the WTMA has never seen plans, nor been asked to comment on water availability for 1,377 of those units," McFarland wrote, identifying 10 developments.


His report, attached to the memo, showed an 85-EDU surplus of water capacity considering water sources being used 18 hours a day. His report subtracted existing and approved future customers from the existing capacity.

McFarland wrote that the supervisors' analysis was based on complete build-out of developments, although no one can predict when that will occur. Sturm conceded at the November meeting that it could be 20 years.

The supervisors' analysis should have at least considered the new well in the early stages of development, McFarland wrote.

In the memo, he assured the supervisors that the WTMA "will continue to provide quality drinking water to the township's residents."

The municipal authority manages the township's water and sewer systems, generating its funding through bills for those services and not tax revenue. It remains partly under the auspices of the five-person board of elected township supervisors.

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