Docstoc

ATHENS TOWNSHIP JOINT BOARD MEET

Document Sample
ATHENS TOWNSHIP JOINT BOARD MEET Powered By Docstoc
					                 ATHENS TOWNSHIP JOINT BOARD MEETING
                         July 12, 2007 7:00 PM


Chairman Ronald Reagan called the meeting to order at 7:06 PM. Supervisors
present were Jack Walter, Maurice Fay, Cheryl Wood-Walter and Robin Smith.
Several members of the Parks Commission, Athens Township Authority,
Planning Commission and Zoning Hearing Board were in attendance, as were
employees from our recycling center and Zoning Officer Ed Reid.

Voice of the Residents: None

Ron introduced Dave Terrill, Executive Director of Northern Tier Solid Waste
Authority (NTSWA), and asked him to give us an overview of their facility. Dave
said NTSWA was created by the County Commissioners on December 4, 1973,
and serves a 3-county area. They are governed by a board of 3 members from
each county who serve 5-year terms. NTSWA is the first (and only) multi-county
facility in the State. They have 70 employees and were voted the best Integrated
Solid Waste System in North America in 2002 and again in 2005. They have 2
sites: #1 is in Hamilton Township, Tioga County and #2 is in West Burlington
Township in Bradford County.

They provide many services besides garbage disposal and recycling, including
Hazard Household Materials Collection, street sweeping and tire shredding, to
name a few. They have recycled 53,000 tons of material since 1992 and have
given $1,050,000 back to the communities since 1992. They do processing of
clean wood (brush and wooden pallets) and recycle 25# propane tanks, used
motor oil and computers.

NTSWA has a “Last Chance Mercantile” on their premises. This section is for
things that people bring in to the landfill that still have “life” left in them – chairs,
skis, “garage sale-type” items, etc. NTSWA charges a small fee ($1 or so) for
the items. Half of the proceeds are given to the 4-H Clubs.

They also are using the gas that is created from the landfill – presently 60 wells
over 27 acres – to produce electricity. They sell the excess back to the power
grid. They have installed a 14,400 sq. ft. hydroponic greenhouse where they
grow specialty greens. These plants float in water and are harvested in 30 day
increments (approx.). They are planted by a seeder that was built at the landfill
from “trash”. They have a professional grower, Jody Applebee, who manages
the greenhouse for them for a small portion of the profits. Some of the greens
are sold locally at Tops and Hurley’s under the names of Northern Tier Greens,
Applebee Greens and Finger Lakes Fresh.

Dave said NTSWA got into the garbage collection business when Casella
changed the way they do business with the landfill. NTSWA offers a disposal
Page Two
Athens Township Joint Board Meeting
July 12, 2007

program they refer to as PAYT, or “Pay As You Throw”. This allows people to
purchase “per bag” stickers for about $2 so they just pay for what they are
throwing out. People who don’t recycle will obviously have more trash, so they
feel the program helps encourage people to recycle more.

They also accept tires and once a year or so will have a free tire disposal day.
That day they also will have their “Last Chance Garage Sale” to get rid of the
Last Chance Mercantile items. Dave said tires that are burned as fuel will burn
“clean” if they’re burned properly. He thinks this could become an alternative fuel
with the price of gas going out of sight.

Robin asked if there is a market out there for other “numbers” of plastic, like #5
and #7. Dave said they considered collecting that, but it took them months to get
a load together that they could sell. You make money by selling the recyclables,
not by storing them. He said they were looking into recycling Ag plastic but there
wasn’t enough to make that worthwhile. Robin asked why we can’t take all the
#1 and #2 plastics – just the small neck bottles? Dave said they are not all the
same, even though they are numbered the same. There is a chemical difference
and they also are different densities.

Ron said he thought NTSWA didn’t take propane tanks – that’s why we sent
them to Amerigas. Dave said they do take them now. Cheryl asked Dave to
explain why we can accept corrugated cardboard and not other cardboard like
cereal boxes. Dave explained that corrugated cardboard can be recycled several
times because the fibers are very long. Cereal box cardboard is a weak fiber that
is short and doesn’t stick together when recycled so it can’t be reused.

Robin asked if it would be possible to accept computers, textbooks, etc. at our
recycling center. Dave said we should just call down and talk with Erin and she
can set it up. Robin asked about having a Hazardous Materials Collection and
they said right now those have to be at the landfill. The physical area where you
collect these materials must be permitted and there is quite a lot of paperwork
involved. He said it costs NTSWA about $35,000/day to do one of these
collections because of the regulations involved and the hazmat issues.

Jack commended Dave for the exemplary job he has done at the landfill, The
Board thanked him for coming.

Ron then introduced Mary Neiley who brought us up-do-date on what is going on
with the Bradford County Sanitation Committee. They are in the process of
taking over the Small Flow Treatment facilities in the county. Mary explained
what these systems are. She also said these are used in situations where a
Page Three
Athens Township Joint Board Meeting
July 12, 2007


regular septic system has failed and cannot be repaired. These are permitted by
DEP because they discharge into the waters of the Commonwealth. They are
used when there is the availability of a stream. Ron asked what other systems
are out there and Mary said there are sand mounds, in-ground septic tanks,
small flow treatment plants, peat filter systems and AB systems, to name a few.
Ron said there are not many places you cannot build then. Mary said there is
probably a system that can be used for most situations, but they can be very
expensive. You can spend $25-30,000 in engineering just to get an answer as to
whether or not it will work.

Mary asked if we have anyone on septic management in the township – where
they are not on public sewer and are required to pump their septic every 3 years.
John Knowles said everyone who is not on the sewer is on septic management.
Ron and Robin thought the only ones on septic management were the Stovers
Acres residents. Mary said the state would like to see everyone pump their tanks
in 3-year increments, but she’s not sure whether that will become a requirement.

John Knowles asked who he can use for enforcement for the Authority? Does he
use the police department? Eddie? He said Roscoe Smith was just sent back
to ATA from BCSC because said that was not their issue. Robin said BCSC
doesn’t handle public sewer issues – they handle the on-lot systems. John said
Stan Parks used to do it , but Mary just doesn’t want to do it any more. Robin
said that is not her jurisdiction. Mary said she has no authority to handle public
sewer complaints.        John Knowles said he feels BCSC does selective
enforcement. Jack said that is not the case. John Knowles said Roscoe pumps
the effluent into the public sewer, but still has to have his tank pumped of solids.
Robin asked why he is not totally on public sewer. John said it was some
arrangement that was made a long time ago. Robin said he should be fully
connected to the public sewer system. Ron Reagan agreed.

John said he is confused as to who he is supposed to have do the enforcement.
Robin told him he needs to talk to his solicitor. John said he thought this
situation with Roscoe would be a building code issue but Code Inspections, Inc.
said they don’t have a plumbing inspector. Ron said they do have a plumbing
inspector, but it is the responsibility of ATA to make sure he is connected to the
public sewer. He was told again that he needs to contact ATA’s solicitor to find
out what the steps are to do that.

John Knowles told Ron he was under the understanding that he was going to be
able to speak tonight, but Robin had said he wasn’t on the agenda. Ron gave
Page Four
Athens Township Joint Board Meeting
July 12, 2007


the floor to John. John said he thinks the supervisors lack a cohesive plan for
infrastructure and that has affected the Authority. The township needs to plan
forward for growth instead of reacting to it when it comes. He would like to see
the township be ready when the new guys come in. He said ATA builds,
operates and maintains the lines. Then they had to build the water tower. He
asked, other than parks, sidewalks, street lights, etc., what else the township
gives money towards?

John said Towanda told him there are 2491 addresses in the township. 835 of
them are billed for sewer. One EDU = 18,000 gallons. ATA is billing about 1/3 of
the township for sewer lines – so that 1/3 are paying for the infrastructure that
exists. None of the Supervisors are on sewer. Everyone benefits from Lowe’s
and Mill’s Pride. Mill’s Pride is a nice manufacturing company to have. They are
clean with no funny residuals and they employ a lot of people. Mill’s Pride’s
sewer bills total $55,000/year. It is based on water usage, so it goes up and
down. ATA has expenses from that sewer line project with payments of
$67,385/year. They are paying out more than they are getting in. He said Mill’s
Pride pays $220/quarter. ATA ended up with the water tower. What does ATA
have to do with the water company? Somehow the Supervisors made ATA build
the water tower. They got $1,000,000 from the governor’s action team and ATA
had to put in $150,000. They still owe $89,000 on that. What benefit is that to
ATA? They don’t use it and could care less about it. One-third of the people in
the township are paying off the excess of the loan over what Mill’s Pride pays.
The money needs to be made up somewhere.

John said everyone likes Lowe’s. They’re clean and don’t have any problems
with DEP. ATA had 5 EDUs coming in from that property before it was
consolidated for Lowe’s. They lost 3 EDUs with Lowe’s coming in. Before
Lowe’s there were 4 residences and 1 commercial property there. Now, the
township got $33,000 in real estate transfer taxes from that property. Should the
loss of those 3 EDUs be taken up by only 1/3 of the people in the township?

Desisti’s trailer court on Elmira Street had 33 EDUs. They removed 10 units and
ATA lost $4,000. They are going to remove 10 more. That will leave 13 units
and when they’re gone, ATA will receive zero EDUs. The parcels on the corner
of Westbrook Street and Elmira Street may end up being a wash, depending on
what goes in there. He asks the Supervisors to put a capital infrastructure
account in the budget. From a political standpoint, you will have to raise taxes.
Think about how do I pay my share for having Mill’s Pride here, and Lowe’s and
Applebee’s. How are you getting away with this? At the rates ATA is charging
Page Five
Athens Township Joint Board Meeting
July 12, 2007


now, they have a little bit of a reserve. That will go fast if they have a problem.
Is there a better way?

Ron asked if anyone had any questions for John Knowles? John Wilkinson
asked if it would help if Stover’s Acres went on the sewer system? John said
they will go on eventually – he guarantees it. John Wilkinson said they didn’t go
on now because the Supervisors made a deal with those residents so they didn’t
have to. Robin said that was not true. John Knowles said that didn’t happen –
some of the residents from Stover’s Acres came to ATA and asked not to go on
the sewer. ATA listened to the residents. Maurice asked John who it was from
Stover’s Acres that asked not to go on? John said he doesn’t remember, but it
was part of the same group that was against Mill’s Pride coming into the
township. John Knowles said he thinks DEP will force East Athens on to the
public sewer before they make Stover’s Acres go on. Greens Landing had to be
put on public sewer.

Gerard Zeller asked John if he heard him correctly when he said Lowe’s is only 2
EDUs. John said yes. Gerard said that is obviously too small. Shouldn’t a
minimum be set for commercial property and that would take care of your funding
problem. Gerard said it should be a base expense for commercial before they
turn the spigot on, then it should be by EDU.

John said because of Chesapeake Bay, biological nutrient reductions (BNR) are
being required. They are already in place in MD and VA. We are in Phase II.
The Valley Joint Sewer Plant (VJSP) will have to be on-line with the plant
reduction by 2012. They have to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus. John said
most of that is coming from lawn fertilizer. 14% of the problem in the
Susquehanna is caused by sewer plants. DEP and EPA entered into an
agreement. He said here the phosphorus numbers will be close to the numbers
of naturally occurring phosphorus. W. Milton is below us. They will close their
current facility and build a new one. VJSA came up with a soft estimate of $10
million for upgrades. In 2008 the Valley plant will have to start design and go out
for funding. The township has 23% of the capacity in the plant. That will equate
to about $2.35 million. What does that mean to us? We don’t know where the
money is coming from. They will have to raise the value of one EDU by $75.
That will mean a cost of $185/EDU for people on-line. How are people going to
pay? Where are people going to get $200/quarter? This is already being fought
in MD Supreme Court. John said his son lives in MD and gets charged
$50/quarter whether he is on sewer or not. How are we going to fund this with
1/3 of the people paying? He said we all put fertilizer on our lawns.
Page Six
Athens Township Joint Board Meeting
July 12, 2007


Gerard Zeller said he thinks John is talking to the wrong political body – he
should be talking to Pickett and Madigan about this. John said he will consider
Gerard’s suggestion about the commercial EDUs, but ATA thinks they are being
fair.

Ron asked where Applebee’s is building? John said Valorie asked the people
who bought Repko’s property and they said Applebee’s will be built there.

Ron thanked everyone for coming, but Robin said this was supposed to have
been a joint board meeting and he should see if any of the other boards would
like a chance to speak.

In the interest of time, Ron just introduced the new Zoning Hearing Board and
told those in attendance the new board had already held 2 meetings. Ron said
Planning Commission had nothing new to present. He asked Richard Bean
about the Park’s Commission.

Richard said permits will be required to ride off-road vehicles in Round Top Park
as soon as everything is in place. He said the Lions Club has installed a sign for
the Jim King Memorial Park in East Athens. He is hoping one of the service
clubs will offer to build a pavilion. He wants to install a swingset and has $550 in
donations toward that, which the Park Commission will match. Phillip Smith will
be installing a flagpole and memorial flower garden in the park as his senior
project. Richard is also looking at doubling or tripling the pond size at Round Top
Park. He also commented that our groundskeeper, Barry Brosnan, is doing an
excellent job.

Maurice introduced the recycling employees that were still here and told them
they are doing a great job. Ron again thanked everyone for coming.

On motion of Ron, second by Maurice, it was unanimous to have Robin contact
Ray Stolinas to work out a date and time for him to teach the Subdivision and
Land Development class, and to invite Litchfield, Sheshequin and Smithfield
Townships as they also have interest in the class.

Discussion was held as to contract negotiations. It was decided to have Robin
send a letter to the Teamster’s proposing the dates of August 6 th or August 13th
at 1 PM for the meeting. Jim Carroll will also be contacted to attend.

It was decided to accept the quote from Clare Printing for the printing of the ORV
licenses - $138.17 for 500 or $173.70 for 1000.
Page Seven
Athens Township Joint Board Meeting
July 12, 2007


It was decided not to participate in the Eagle Eye Security preventive
maintenance program.

Discussion was held on the Penelec banner agreement. On motion of Robin,
second by Cheryl, it was approved to sign and execute the agreement, with
Maurice voting no. Correspondence/Info was as presented in the agenda.

On motion of Jack, second by Cheryl, it was unanimous to accept the quote of
$2650 from Mark Cron/Cron Construction for the repairs to the main building
roof, and to have him patch the garage roof where the nail holes are rusting for
an additional cost.

Chairman Reagan took the Board into executive session at 9:58 PM for pending
litigation. The regular meeting reconvened at 10:15 PM. There being no further
business, on motion of Ron, second by Cheryl, it was unanimous to adjourn the
meeting at 10:19 PM.

                                        Respectfully submitted,



                                        Robin L. Smith, Secretary

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:14
posted:4/16/2010
language:English
pages:7