Antrim sewer customers facing rate increase

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot

Antrim Township Municipal Authority approved a project Monday night, acknowledging that sewer rates would be going up to help fund several improvements in 2014. The question was by how much.

Rodney Eberly, Dale Hostetter and Elwood Myers approved the GHD Engineering proposal of $148,500 to design the screw press for the wastewater treatment plant. Also on the horizon was the Shank’s Church Road sewer line upgrade.

“Somewhere we need to find $3 million to pay for these,” said public works director Carl Rundquist.

He said all the paperwork had been submitted in the application for a Penn Works grant of $2.44 million, processed through the Pennsylvania Department of Economic Development. The announcement of how much Antrim was awarded was expected in September.

“The less the grant, the more of a rate increase for our customers,” Rundquist said.

The sewer fund money market account contained $1.21 million, he said, and it was designated to cover matching funds under the grant stipulations, plus the cost of the design for the dewatering upgrade at the sewer plant.

Eberly suggested a meeting with the Antrim Township board of supervisors to share how the projects would be completed, since ATMA put up the money but then had no input, as the employees were under the direction of the township.

“These are big projects,” he stated. “We need to understand how they’ll be done.”

Rundquist agreed that a meeting would be useful.

“What we’re not talking about is the money to pay for future projects. We need to find a way to replenish the account.”

Rick Baer and Chad Murray were absent from the meeting.