Duncansville votes to remain in ISC

Council approves five-year term

DUNCANSVILLE — On the recommendation of its consulting engineer, Borough Council voted recently to remain in the 11-municipality Inter­govern­­mental Stormwater Committee for a five-year term.

Continuing as a member of the council of governments, whose mission is to help members comply with increasingly strict storm­water purification requirements, will be less troublesome and less expensive than breaking away and complying with those requirements by itself, engineer Tom Levine told council members.

Based on its Pollution Reduction Plan, the committee is responsible for shrinking the annual amount of sediment entering local streams within the next five years by 1.4 million pounds, a task estimated to cost about $6.2 million — but Duncansville only needs to pay about 2 percent of that, Levine said.

That amounts to $122,500, most of which would likely come due toward the later part of the five-year “permit” period, Levine indicated.

Leaving the committee would force Duncansville to hire someone to create an individual Pollution Reduction Plan, which not only could be costly, but which would be problematic, because the borough’s geography doesn’t provide much opportunity for sediment elimination projects, Levine said.

The borough has already done streambank restoration work on Gillans Run that has reduced sediment entering that creek, and while there’s more to do, at some point, that work will be complete — before reaching the probable necessary shrinkage that an individual Pollution Reduction Plan would call for, Levine indicated.

The territory covered by the committee provides plenty of space and variety for sediment reducing projects — for the upcoming five-year permit cycle and for future cycles, Levine said.

As a member of the committee, the borough gets full credit for any project done within committee territory, he said.

The proposed project that would satisfy the biggest chunk of the required sediment reduction is the dredging of the lake at Lakemont Park, which is in Logan Township.

The committee wants formal responses by mid-August from members on whether they want to rejoin.

The committee charter expires at the end of the year.

Levine plans to provide Councilman Dave Shaw with information about the costs for next year when it’s time to begin compiling the 2019 budget.

The city of Altoona, Bellwood Borough and Logan, Antis and Blair townships have indicated they also plan to rejoin — though not all have voted on it formally.

At a recent planning meeting, City Council indicated a consensus on the matter.

“There is strength in numbers,” said City Councilman Dave Butterbaugh. “It pays for as many of us (as are willing) to stick together.”

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.