FACTORYVILLE — Casey Cawley, representing Reilly Associates, the borough’s engineering firm, discussed the requirements for the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit during a regular Factoryville council meeting May 10.
According to borough manager Mary Ellen Buckbee, the Abington Council of Governments (ACOG) has an engineering firm, Herbert, Rowland & Grubic, Inc., that is proposing municipalities form a municipal authority for stormwater as a way of making the new regulations in the next permit cycle more palatable.
The borough’s current permit expires in March 2018 and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) requires a renewal application 180 days prior to that date.
“The permit itself is very similar to past permits, however they are now required to include a plan for a physical reduction of pollutants over a five-year period, which includes best management practices,” Cawley said. “Factoryville falls under this requirements because it’s a tributary to the Chesapeake Bay.”
According to Cawley, a Pollutant Reduction Plan (PRP), which includes mapping, is required to be completed by Aug. 3. The permit application is due Sept. 16.
Cawley believes the borough may be able to save money by joining forces with other municipalities, including Clarks Green, Clarks Summit and Dalton boroughs along with Glenburn, South Abington and Waverly townships, who are also considering the idea.
“I think there is value in having a regional authority because the rules are a little different,” Cawley said. “You wouldn’t have to complete the mapping, the consultant would do what is required.”
However, borough president Chuck Wrobel isn’t sure Factoryville would benefit due to its distance from some of the other municipalities.
“We’re so isolated up here that I think it’s our best bet to not even be involved, because of their issues down there,” he said.
Solicitor Paul Litwin added another reason the borough may be hesitant to be part of the authority.
“If we join with them, everybody in that area will be assessed a stormwater fee,” Litwin said. “We’re going to be paying for stormwater improvements that are significantly more than ours.”
According to Buckbee, there would be a lump sum fee of $52,500 divided by at least seven municipalities if Factoryville is included in the municipal authority.
Cawley said the estimated cost for the borough to utilize Reilly Associates to complete the plans would be $20-30,000, with about $12,000 going toward mapping.
A special meeting will be held at a date and time to be determined for the council members to learn more about the scope of the proposals along with the costs.
In other business:
• Members of the council passed a motion to forward $10,000 from the borough’s grant match account to the Countryside Conservancy for further construction of the Trolley Trail. Buckbee added there will be nearly $12,000 left in the account after the payment.
• Members of the council passed a motion to authorize the Shade Tree Commission to spend $400 for plantings at borough hall.
• Rutledge Excavating, Inc., the low-bidder, will complete work on the new soccer field at the Clinton Township-Factoryville Borough Joint Municipal Park.
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.