Logan Twp. might expand sewer project

Logan Township leaders are showing interest in a smaller sewer expansion project that could someday lead to a reduction in sewer bills for Sylvan East residents.

If Logan Township extends its sewer system beyond Lakemont to add 23 properties along Frankstown Road currently depending on septic systems, then the township will be in a position to consider extending sewer service into the Chapel Hill and Sylvan East areas, engineer Timothy Cooper said.

In early 2011, Logan Township residents who live in the Sylvan East area off Frankstown Road complained to the township after a rate increase nearly doubled their quarterly sewer bill to $279. But the increase was levied by Frankstown Township which provides sewer service in the Sylvan East area of Logan Township.

While Logan Township has been increasing its sewer rates, the current levy of $53 per month equates to a quarterly bill of $159.

Cooper, currently working with Logan Township on plans for a multi-million sewer expansion project slated for construction later this year, spoke about the smaller project at a recent Logan Township meeting and drew supportive comments.

It presents the opportunity to serve Logan Township residents, whose sewer bills are about 40 percent higher than the rates paid by other Logan Township residents, supervisors Chairman Frank Meloy said.

Logan Township resident Dennis Murray, at the meeting to receive a proclamation in recognition of his retirement as Altoona Area School District superintendent, voiced his support also.

“We’re getting scalped because we’re part of the Frankstown system even though we’re Logan residents,” Murray said.

Frankstown Township leaders, who held their monthly meeting Monday, offered few comments when asked about Logan Township’s proposed sewer expansion project.

The townships have an enforceable agreement, Solicitor Frederick Gieg Jr. said.

In late 1993, leaders of Logan and Frankstown townships entered into an agreement, effective in 1994, placing some Logan Township residents in a sewer district served by Frankstown Township and some Frankstown Township residents in a sewer district served by Logan Township.

A review of that agreement shows no expiration date and indicates that the terms “remain in full force and effect as long as the Frankstown sewer system and/or the Lakemont Area sewer system remain functional and operational.”

Logan Township Solicitor Larry Clapper said that clause does not obligate Logan Township indefinitely. If Logan Township extends its sewer system to serve those residents, they will no longer be contributing to the Frankstown Township sewer system, Clapper said.

The agreement could remain in effect, Clapper said, but if there’s no conveyance, nothing is owed.

Cooper said he had no time frame for the smaller sewer extension project, but some engineering work will be done in case some money from the larger sewer expansion project is available to move forward.

Township supervisors arranged to borrow $13 million through a bond issue for the larger sewer project scheduled to be bid at the end of May. As proposed in December 2010, the project calls for an extension of sewer lines into the Grandview, Rosehill, Hope Lane, Bloom Road, Red Hill, Homers Gap and Kittanning Point areas, which currently use septic systems.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 946-7456.