ATMA members interview interested professionals


Solicitors and engineers presented their strengths Monday night as the Antrim Township Municipal Authority interviewed candidates for professional services. Since Shawn Meyers resigned as solicitor to become a Franklin County Judge, the board had to find a replacement. It also decided to consider another engineer, disgruntled with some issues with its current firm, Brinjac Engineering, over the past year.

Elwood Myers, Rodney Eberly, Bob Coladonato, Bob Schemmerling and new member Chad Murray spoke to two solicitors. Linus Fenicle, from Reager and Adler in Camp Hill, was accompanied by associate Wayne Martin, an engineer and attorney who could fill in if Fenicle was unable to attend a meeting.

Fenicle said he had been practicing municipal law for 20 years. The field was his specialty. He worked with other sewer and water authorities, and had experience with litigation if that was ever necessary. He had presided over appeals before the Antrim Township Zoning Hearing Board.

He added that because he did not live in the vicinity, he had no conflicts of interest. "I will give best legal advice. I give the law as I see it. I enjoy local government."

Thomas Steiger, Jr., former partner of Meyers, at the Mercersburg firm Steiger, Steiger and Meyers, had been a practicing attorney for 37 years. He explained his experience with other authorities and governmental agencies in Franklin County. He and John Lisko, Antrim Township's solicitor, cooperated to serve as substitutes for each other at meetings if required. Steiger said he was familiar with ATMA operations through Meyers.

"I'll be happy to represent you if that's what you decide."

Three engineers also made their statements.

Tom Ladue was interested in the post, and was joined by associate Bill Brown from Dewberry Goodkind, Inc., Carlisle. Ladue said he had worked in  Pennsylvania for 39 years, including significant projects involving design and construction of sewage and water treatment plants.

"We're sensitive to costs during construction," said Brown, "and try to be as effective as possible."

Ladue added that the company would present a budget for a project based on the time it should take to be completed, and would try to identify unexpected changes quickly.

Joe McDowell was joined by Tim Cormany to represent Martin and Martin, Inc. of Chambersburg. The company was founded in 1972 and has been the Antrim Township engineer for several years. It also served other municipalities in Franklin County and beyond.

"Our job is to identify your needs and find solutions that are fiscally responsible and feasible," they said.

David Brinjac informed the authority, "It's tough to do this in front of an existing client."

His firm had worked with ATMA since 1998. He accepted fault for one issue that occurred in 2009, the elimination of a lift station that had not progressed in a timely manner. He added that on a positive note, all of his projects had come in under budget. He had also saved the authority money following testimony in a litigation case over fees due by developers.

Brinjac added that his fee to attend meetings had not risen in 12 years.

The members decided to take all the comments under consideration for a week and hopefully to select a solicitor and engineer at its regular meeting Jan. 25. Schemmerling also asked Antrim administrator Brad Graham and ATMA secretary Joyce A. Nowell to submit their impressions of the candidates, since they were familiar with authority operations.

In other business at the special meeting, Nowell, also the Open Records Officer, notified the board that a member of the press had asked that the audio version of the meetings be available for review.

On a Schemmerling/Coladonato motion, the board unanimously agreed to post the audio on the township website from month to month. The meetings have been tape-recorded for the past two years.