ATMA raises rates

PAT FRIDGEN

Several fees are going up and one is going down in 2010. The Antrim Township Municipal Authority voted Monday night to adjust rates for particular permits and usage.

The water tap charge will increase from $1,178 to $1,231 per EDU on Jan. 1. Water usage rates will go up 5.6 percent. The base quarterly fee will rise from $45.66 to $48.22, plus $6.94 per 1,000 gallons, up from the current $6.57.

The sewer tap fee will increase from $4,128 to $4,854 per EDU.

The one fee to decrease will be the repair and improvement charge per EDU in subdivisions, from $2,409 to $2,068. The 2010 budget, presented in November, was unanimously passed by Bob Schemmerling, Rodney Eberly, Roy Baum, Elwood Myers and Bob Coladonato at the Dec. 28 meeting.

Schemmerling had hoped to offer a few residents the opportunity to tap in to a sewer line at the old rate. The gravity line being installed along Route 16 West, replacing the abandoned Lift Station No. 4 pipes, is not ready for connection by adjacent property owners. After a lengthy discussion, he acknowledged certain customers could not be singled out and ATMA had to consider what was best for all users. Property owners in other parts of the township would be subject to the new rates. While the authority could have delayed the implementation of the new rates, board members realized they could then miss out on the needed increased funds from other developers.

More changes

Antrim Township administrator Brad Graham announced that ATMA had received responses to its requests for qualifications for two consultants. Because solicitor Shawn Meyers was leaving his post, having been elected as a judge to the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, his spot would be vacant in 2010. Two people had expressed interest - Thomas Steiger and Linus Fenicle. ATMA also wanted to consider another engineering firm besides Brinjac. Graham said since the authority was familiar with the services of Brinjac, it did not need to interview them again, but could meet with Martin and Martin, and Dewberry. He had asked Antrim Township solicitor John Lisko to serve in the interim until another solicitor was appointed. And he asked Dave Brinjac, present at the meeting, to do the same for engineering.

"You could cast the net further," Graham told the board. "We sent out the letter to certain firms we knew of."

No one favored doing that, and told Graham to set up a special meeting for interviews, with as many of the five members present as possible.

Meyers cautioned them, "Professional services are not subject to executive session discussions. If you have a quorum...it's a fine line if you are receiving information or discussing for the purpose of making a decision. Allow time for advertising the meeting so you don't violate the Sunshine Law."

Thank you

Schemmerling thanked Meyers for his hard work over many years on behalf of ATMA.

Meyers, who will be seated Jan. 4, responded, "I appreciated the opportunity years ago from Antrim Township. I was originally sent over as a young attorney and this was my first municipal client. I hope I can carry what I've learned over to the bench."

He enjoyed the experience and appreciated his working relationship with the board and engineers, he told them.