Greene Twp residents react to sewer system costs

Some Greene Township residents say money is going down the drain with the cost of a $44 million sanitary sewer system project.

After decades of discussions and planning, the sewer system is being built; and nearly 100 people packed the Greene Township Municipal Building on Tuesday night to learn more.

The Department of Environmental Protection is mandating the project due to the failure rate of septic tanks or on-lot sewage disposal systems. The main hazard is pollution.

"Quite honestly if we would have fixed our septics--if someone would've told us it was failing, we could've fixed them at a lower cost,” explained Stacy Noonan, who said she has opposed plans for a sewer system since moving into the community nearly 20 years ago.

The sewer system will not reach all Greene Township households, but many resident who will be forced to connect are concerned about costs.

Households will be responsible for a tap-in fee between $5,000 and $7,500, a monthly user charge estimated at $110 per month, and any potential costs associated with hiring a contractor to connect drains to the sewer lines.

Noonan said it is too expensive.

"So, that $110 a month. How long is that? I've heard estimates that it's over 35 years."

Other residents accept the project, which is being built in five phases.

"For one, it's going to be good for the environment," said Patrick Fioravanti, of Greene Township.

"Everything up here is clay. So, half the systems are failing. People don't like it, but there is nothing we can do about it but put it in and live with it.”

Fioravanti said he will not need to hire a contractor to connect to the system.

"Me and my neighbor are going to do it ourselves, because we're at the top of the hill. So, the main pipe shouldn't be that deep."

The township recommends that homeowners, who might need financial assistance, seek a low-interest loan from the PENNVEST Homeowner Septic Program.

Officials expect most of the system to be constructed by the end of 2018.


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