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Orrtanna waste treatment plant
 to be upgraded

Ashley Andyshak Hayes

(4/3) Hamiltonban Township supervisors voted at their April 3 meeting to advertise for engineering and design proposals for their Orrtanna treatment plant.

Supervisors are requesting proposals to rebuild the plant as a stream discharge plant or to construct a line from the Orrtanna plant to the Franklin Township treatment plant.

The Orrtanna plant was constructed in 1972 as a lagoon system with a spray field, said Supervisor Coleen Reamer, who is also the sewer plant coordinator.

The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) notified the township in April 2010 that the plant did not meet state standards and issued a consent order agreement asking that the township construct a new plant, she said.

Preliminary estimates for the plant range from $1.2 million to $2 million, Reamer said, and the township was awarded nearly $500,000 in state grant funding toward the cost.

Because of the immense cost, supervisors approached Franklin Township officials to discuss joining the two plants and also the possibility of selling the joint treatment system to a private company.

At the April 3 meeting, supervisors voted to decline an offer from Pennsylvania American Water to purchase the treatment plant.

Reamer said negotiations are continuing between the townships and Pennsylvania American Water, but that Hamiltonban is moving forward with the new plant design to ensure they remain in compliance with DEP standards.

"We have a duty first and foremost to the residents of Orrtanna and...the board may have to move forward with the construction of a new plant. Therefore, the board voted to begin moving forward with those plans to remain compliant with DEP," Reamer wrote in an email.

In other business, supervisors unanimously voted to eliminate insurance coverage for dependents over the next five years.

This initiative takes effect September 1, and will save the township an estimated $15,685.

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