Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Of Sewer Capacity and Re-Appointment Politics

On the final meeting of 2016, the Pottstown Borough Authority debated how (or if) they should endorse one of their own number for re-appointment, and worried about whether the sewer piping system has enough capacity to accommodate Sanatoga Green in Lower Pottsgrove.

Responding to an outburst from Pottstown Borough Council Vice President Sheryl Miller -- when the question of re-appointing authority member and former councilman Jeff Chomnuk for another fiver years on the authority -- Chairman Tom Carroll tried to demure.

He questioned whether it is his place to recommend re-appointments, forgetting perhaps that it is exactly what the board over which he has presided for the past several years has done.

After some back and forth, Chomnuk reminded him -- with a bit of vinegar in his voice -- that the past two re-appointments were made with a motion to send a letter urging council to re-appoint a member.

Chomnuk knew because he had the minutes of those meetings from the past two years, and because in both occasions, he was the one who made the motion.

With Chomnuk abstaining, the remaining board voted 3-1 to support his re-appointment. Carroll voted no and weathered a bit of a pause at the end of the meeting when he offered his hand to Chomnuk and wished him a Merry Christmas.

We'll see how it all shakes out at the council meeting in January.

Another thing that may need shaking out has to do with the large Sanatoga Green development, and another that may well be proposed right night door.

Although the project's impact on traffic and school enrollments, not to mention property taxes, have all been discussed, one thing absent from most conversations is sewer capacity.

Authority Engineer Tom Weld and Vice Chairman David Renn said they do not feel the potential problems those projects post are adequately understood in Lower Pottsgrove.

The problem is not the capacity of the sewage treatment plant, but Lower Pottsgrove's pumping station on Porter Road.

All sewage from the 500-plus residences, a 100-room hotel and medical office building, would be added to the already full flow through that station. And thanks to infiltration and inflow, the station can get near capacity now when it rains.

The authority voted to send a letter to Lower Pottsgrove outlining their concerns and seeking information on how the township proposes to deal with them.

Other than that, and a absolutely fascinating presentation by local master plumber Aram Ecker on why plastic pipes are as good as cast iron, the meeting was fairly routine.

Here are the Tweets that prove it.

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