Stormwater body to keep one vote per member

ISC?considered having representation based on financial contribution

The council of governments responsible for bringing the urbanized area of central Blair County into compliance with increasingly strict stormwater rules will give each municipality an equal vote.

The matter arose during discussions of a provision in the draft of a master agreement that will bind the 10 members of the Inter­govern­mental Stormwater Commit­tee for a five-year term covered by a state Department of Environ­mental Protection permit. In those five years, the group will need to complete $6.3 million in projects to reduce the amount of sediment running into streams by 1.4 million pounds per year.

The provision would have moved the ISC from its current one-vote-per-munici­pality to voting based on each municipality’s financial contribution.

Blair Township representative Ed Silvetti said such a pro-rated quorum would mean that Altoona and Logan Township together could control the entire group.

The city and Logan make the biggest “financial commitment,” pointed out Al­toona representative Marla Marcinko. “But in the true spirit of intergovernmental participation, there’s something to be said for one municipality, one vote,” she stated.

Maybe it would make sense to weight the voting by formula for some issues and to make it equal among the municipalities for the others, Hollidaysburg Bor­ough Manager Jim Gehret proposed.

But differentiating be­tween those issues would be difficult, Marcinko said.

One COG member wondered whether it made much difference, given that no matter where a project is sited, all municipalities receive full credit.

Member Tom Levine, a consulting engineer, said he’d like to consult the elected governing bodies of the municipalities he represents before the group decided.

But COG Chairman Tim Brown of Logan Township said there seemed to be a consensus to revise the draft and stick with the current one vote, one member system.

He got no argument.

Marcinko said she wasn’t sure how it came to be that the draft agreement called for pro-rated votes.

Perhaps it would make sense for the formula that favors the bigger municipalities to be reflected if it ever comes time to redistribute the money accumulated by the group that was collected based on that formula, said Teddie Kreitz of Keller Engineers.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.

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