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Pa. customers ordered to make costly hookups to water system

June 16, 2011|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — Residents of the Hess development in Antrim Township showed up at the Greencastle Area Franklin County Water Authority meeting with a laundry list of questions about connecting to municipal water.

The authority recently mailed letters to residents, telling them they must hook onto the authority’s water system, and had to decide by July 1. If no response was received, the property would be hooked onto the system at the owner’s expense, according to the letter.   

Fred Young, a Hess development resident and an Antrim Township supervisor, asked the authority for an extension on the July 1 deadline.

Hess Development resident Linda Singley said she felt like she was being forced to connect in a very heavy-handed manner from the tone of the letter.

Singley’s mother is undergoing surgery this summer, and she said connecting to the water system would be disruptive to her mother’s recuperation.

Others were upset about the costs associated with connecting to Greencastle’s water authority as well as the “heavy-handed” nature of the water authority’s letter.

Residents questioned why they were being forced to hook onto the system when Antrim Township Supervisors exempted them from connecting in 2007.

Antrim Township Supervisor Curtis Myers asked why a group of homes along Shanks Church Road within 150 feet from the authority’s water line were not forced to connect when the residents in the Hess Development were being forced to hook onto the system.

At the end of the meeting, the authority’s board agreed to extend the connection until 2019, if homeowners agreed to the connection in writing.

The authority’s board made it clear that connecting was not an option, it was mandatory.

GAFCWA board member Bob Miller said residents could continue to use private wells for gardens and pools as long as they are not connected to the home’s water supply.

The cost to connect to the municipal water is currently $2,655 plus $500 to $800, and other fees as applicable.

The board agreed to establish payment plans, as necessary, on a case-by-case basis.

Also, the board will review the homes along Shanks Church Road to determine if they are within 150 feet of Greencastle’s water system.

“We are not deciding to do this. It is the law that says we have to do this,” Miller said.

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