ATMA considers consultants for 2010


Members of the Antrim Township Municipal Authority discussed Monday how to replace solictor Shawn Meyers should the judicial candidate win a seat to the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas in November.

His partner at Steiger, Steiger and Meyers attended the Sept. 28 meeting to introduce himself and express interest in the position. Thomas Steiger said their firm represents other authorities and municipalities and he has the knowledge needed to serve.

Bob Coladonato, Roy Baum and Elwood Myers favored Meyer's recommendation of Steiger. "The firm has always done an excellent job," said Myers.

Bob Schemmerling suggested getting Requests for Qualifications from two or three other firms as well, to see what opportunities existed. Rodney Eberly agreed, "I expect few firms do the same work, but let's get the best for our money."

The rest of the board approved the idea.

The subject of retaining or replacing Brinjac Engineering as ATMA's sewer engineer also fostered discussion. The procedure for hiring one bothered Coladonato. He wished the authority had more oversight and interaction with the consultant, which could result in fewer problems. Brinjac came under fire the past year over its handling of the elimination of Lift Station No. 4, an archeological dig at the last minute, and erosion sediment control for a project. He pondered whether ATMA should have an employee, its own engineer.

Because of a leaseback agreement with Antrim Township, Meyers said there was difficulty monitoring reports submitted to the Board of Supervisors, who ultimately hire the engineer. "That's the weakness in the situation. It's been debated for years whether to have one or two engineering firms. If we want another, rates will increase. That is the hammer they wield." He concluded, "Lease agreements don't work anymore."

Coladonato responded, "Maybe we should get rid of it."

"Maybe we should," Myers replied.

Coladonato and Baum supported keeping Brinjac for sewer engineering. David Brinjac, in attendance, said his company had 10 to 12 years of good work for Antrim and asked for consideration to be retained.

The five will discuss the issue again at the October meeting.

Other business

A bid to take down Lift Station No. 4 was approved pending conditions. Leon E. Wintermyer, Inc., Etters, had the low bid of $362,153. The highest bid of the seven received was from Fayetteville Contractors, Inc. at $464,839.

Paul Schemel, representing Washington Farms, Inc., stated his client owned the interceptor line and easement from Greencastle Greens through the Young farm to the pump station by Talhelm's Gas on Buchanan Trail West. He said related deeds showed that the easement was exclusive and other developers did not have the right to tap into the pipe. One with such plans was The Preserve at Greencastle.

"I understand this is a peculiar thing," Schemel said. "I don't want to make this your problem. The Preserve should talk to us."

Meyers said he couldn't disagree with the analysis, based on his research. ATMA will have the staff review the status of the sewer lines and make a recommendation for requirements if the line is ever dedicated to them.

The board also discussed setting a policy for fire protection criteria, specifically so fire departments would have adequate water available during any residential fire.