ATMA prevails in court case


Antrim Township Municipal Authority was the victor in the Ronca litigation which went to Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. ATMA solicitor Linus Fenicle reported Monday night that Michael F. Ronca and Sons was ready to resolve the case and asked for mutual release of the remaining claims. That effectively would end the court proceedings.

Board members Rodney Eberly, Elwood Myers, Chad Murray and Rick Baer agreed to the release. Bob Schemmerling was absent.

In February, Judge Richard J. Walsh ruled in favor of ATMA on the major body of the lawsuit. Ronca had sued the authority for $400,000 of unplanned excavating expenses in the 2000 extension of a sewer line from Greencastle to Kauffman. It first took legal action in 2002. Each side also had $100,000 claims against each other in the dispute.

Lease agreement accepted

Though the Antrim Township Board of Supervisors had not accepted ATMA's terms in an updated sewer lease agreement, the board members approved the latest version at the March 26 meeting. The document left ATMA in charge of capital improvements but Antrim controlled the money. Schemmerling has especially wanted the agreement to reflect what happened in reality - the township kept revenue from tapping and user fees and the supervisors made the final decisions on capital projects, so they should be in charge of them.

Baer acknowledged Schemmerling's concerns, but felt that with public works director Carl Rundquist on board, things were running better. As a supervisor himself, he said that board's long-range plan was to create a joint authority. Murray, Eberly and Myers were OK with the agreement if the township was serious about its plan. The contract runs through May 1, 2020.

Baer stressed that he wanted maintenance schedules at the plant clearly defined and for employees to do their jobs and be accountable, to avoid some of the recent problems at the treatment facility.

Other business

Rundquist said his staff became aware there were probably some leaks in the water lines due to increased usage numbers. He borrowed equipment to test the pipes and found three leaks. Two were on Glade Terrace and one was on Nottingham. ATMA had responsibility to make two of the repairs. Rundquist said while the damage this time was minor, such leaks can eventually cause the loss of thousands of gallons of water a day.

He told the board his employees were cleaning up the sewer plant grounds, and disposed of a dumpster of scrap, which earned the township $1,388. The efforts were ongoing.

Rundquist and two ATMA members were scheduled to interview six of the 27 applicants for a utility department position.