ATMA considers requests for relief from bills

PAT FRIDGEN

Customers at odds with policies met different ends at the Sept. 27 meeting of the Antrim Township Municipal Authority.

Board members Bob Coladonato, Rodney Eberly and Chad Murray tended to business in the absence of Elwood Myers and Bob Schemmerling.

The realty company handling a property in bankruptcy on Rutherford Drive asked that sewer charges from the past year be removed, since water had been turned of in September 2009 due to non-payment. The home had been vacant over 180 days. ATMA maintenance director Brad Graham said staff recommended approval of the request. Murray and Coladonato agreed but Eberly voted no.

A request for a waiver on the sewer bill for an estate on Buchanan Trail East was not granted. Coladonato cited the ordinance which stated if a property was for sale, sewer service was left intact. The vote was unanimous.

Graham updated the board on the status of reimbursement from a water customer in the Cedar Brook development. ATMA had repaired a hole in a water pipe on private property last winter, which was "outside normal practice." Due to the amount of water being lost, he added, "We couldn't continue to let it go. We needed to fix that leak and he (the owner) couldn't do it."

Graham said the owner was responsible to repay ATMA the cost of the repair, but had not done so. He would continue to attempt to work out a resolution. The amount owed was $837.

The board considered additional data it had acquired since a presentation in August from two vendors on refinancing bonds. Graham, Coladonato, a supervisor and ATMA counsel had discussed the proposals of Royal Bank of Canada and Public Financial Management. They learned that if the PFM plan were adopted, with Antrim Township named as the owner of the bonds, the township would in essence take over the financial obligations of the sewer system and ATMA would no longer exist.

"We have to think about that," said Coladonato.

Eberly agreed. "There's a reason for an authority. I need more information."

They planned to talk more with representatives from both companies. The meeting ended in executive session to discuss Greencastle Area Franklin County Water Authority's offer to purchase the township water system. ATMA made a counteroffer earlier in the month.