Portage working out kinks of upcoming sewer project

PORTAGE – Borough officials hoped to smooth out the final wrinkles of their upcoming sewer project Monday, approving a second ordinance outlining the project’s parameters by a 5-0 vote.

Council members Rebecca Chobany and John Morgan were absent.

Borough Manager Robert Koban said the second ordinance will replace the first, which was passed in October but created confusion and sparked outrage among some Ward 3 residents.

Residents believed they would have to pressure test new sewer lines for infiltration only when buying, selling or transferring a home, when in reality testing would come with any new construction.

Koban said the improved ordinance includes clearer language and gives homeowners as much as 1 year to comply with lateral testing requirements from curbs to home foundations after completion of the $6 million joint project with Portage Township.

The ordinance also outlines the new use for the old sewer lines, which will become a stormwater system, and names Portage’s sewer authority as

the enforcement officer

for the project.

Under the old ordinance, Koban had been listed as the enforcement officer, a job he said makes more sense for the authority. Council members, Chobany especially, were wary of giving the authority that power, but the ordinance contains a caveat that they can revoke that power if it is abused.

The sewer system project is slated to begin next year.

Council also approved selling its 2005 Ford Crown Victoria to the Cambria County Sheriff’s Office for $3,500.

Mirror Staff Writer Kelly Cernetich is at 946-7520.