Residents voice concern about high sewer bills
By Mary Grzebieniak
Several Mahoning Township residents voiced concern about how high their monthly sewer bills may be when they tap in over the next few months.
Supervisor Gary Pezzuolo told them Tuesday that good news about the proposed racetrack/casino development could make a difference.
American Harness Tracks, LLC met a Sept. 12 deadline by providing the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission with proof they have financing commitments for the project as well as a fully executed management contract.
Pezzuolo said although the monthly sewer bill has not yet been finalized, it will be in line with nearby communities such as Bessemer, where the monthly bill is $54. But more importantly, Pezzuolo stated, “I think the track is going to save us. I think we’re going to be fine.”
Pezzuolo said the township has filed another request for $7.5 million in state grant money for the sewer and will get a decision in late October.
If that money is awarded, the township will be able to finish the sewer lines and sewage treatment plant and extend the sanitary sewer to the north side of Pa. Route 551.
The proposed racetrack/casino development off Route 551 gives added impetus to the grant application because the state gives projects additional points if they would spur economic development.
In addition, if the track is built and the sanitary sewer is extended to serve it, the greater number of users would lower monthly bills for all customers.
Supervisors also authorized township Solicitor Louis Perrotta to engage in discussions with several companies about the possibility of Marcellus Shale drilling on 53 acres of township land where the township buildings are located. Perrotta said after the meeting that the drilling could garner $1,500 to $3,000 per acre plus royalties.
The township also agreed to Perrotta’s request to seek proposals for purchase of a radio transmission tower at the rear of the township building to see if sale would bring more than the current $9,000 annual rental.
The annual fall cleanup will begin Sept. 26 in the Hillsville area.
The schedule will be posted on the township website, www.mahoningtownship.net, before the beginning date.
Supervisors set trick-or-treating for the township for 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31.