FARRELL City must prove plant use

The state is concerned about sewage overflows into the Shenango River during periods of wet weather.
FARRELL, Pa. -- The state Department of Environmental Protection wants to make sure Farrell is using its sanitary sewage treatment plant to its fullest capacity before renewing the city's discharge permit.
The state agency regulates the flow of treated sewage into the Shenango River and said Farrell has to show that it is maximizing the flow of raw sewage to the plant for treatment, said Dan Goncz of Gannett Fleming Inc. of Pittsburgh, the city's consulting engineer.
Goncz also told city council Tuesday that the city needs to update its long-term control plan for the plant to satisfy the DEP.
Farrell has a dual sewer system that allows raw sewage and storm water to mix in some of its lines, allowing direct overflows to the river at three points during periods of extremely wet weather.
Must prove: Goncz said the city needs to show that it is doing all it can to direct maximum sewage flows to the treatment plant before any overflow can occur before the state will renew the permit allowing treated sewage to go into the river.
Council voted to hire Gannett Fleming to do the necessary study and prepare a report for presentation to the DEP at a cost of $3,300.
Council members also expressed concern about a funding source should the study show additional work is needed on the sewer system.
Goncz said the city can seek state grant money to help defray such costs.
In other matters, council:
UGave Mercer County Community Action Agency an option on 14 city lots on Union and Federal streets and Hamilton Avenue where the agency hopes to build 10 apartments for mentally challenged residents in three multi-family buildings.
The $1 option will hold the land while the agency seeks funding and other approvals for the project, to be known as Independence Park. The purchase price will be determined later by appraisal.
UAccepted title to five city lots at the southwest corner of Roemer Boulevard and Spearman Avenue, where a former Methodist church was located. The city is already spending $89,200 to have the structure torn down, and the demolition is under way.
The owners of the land, Raymond Johnson of Farrell and Karen Ross in Florida, agreed to give the land to Farrell in exchange for the city removing the church and parsonage.
UDelayed action on a request from Audrey Coy to exonerate $565 in delinquent sewage and garbage fees on a six-unit apartment building at 728 Lee Ave. that she recently purchased at a Mercer County tax sale. The bills were incurred by a previous owner. Council wants to examine the issue further before agreeing to forgive the debt.

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