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Supervisors meet with DEP over Sewage System

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Supervisors meet with DEP over Sewage System

Postby Admin » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:48 pm

Newton Township Supervisors meet with DEP to discuss Sewage System

The Supervisors are tightlipped about the meeting that cost the taxpayers a bit of money.

The issue involves the Wooded Lane Development, a residential subdivision on Forest Acres Drive in Newton Township.

The original developer created a 10-lot subdivision with two homes constructed on individual lots.

Later the homes had problems with on-lot sewage systems.  One homeowner sued, and the township had to pay for a new sewage system.
 
The other home’s sewage system consists of a hole in the ground stacked with tires and somehow with the full knowledge of DEP and township officials, it remains that way.

The remaining 8-lots were not buildable because of the sewage problems.

Both DEP and township officials are aware of the problems but township officials seem more concerned that homes may be built than addressing sewage problems.

Several years ago, the new landowner proposed to put in a small sewage system to serve the homes in the development at no cost to the township.
 
However, Scot Haan, Chairman of the planning agency, who is also the Code Enforcement Officer, stated that he did not want the sewage system because, "Every lot would be buildable and we don’t want that."  Mr. Haan in his dual capacity advises the supervisors.

The township has wasted countless thousands of dollars on lawyers and engineers to stymie the project and the matter has gone back and forth between the township and DEP.  

On Wednesday, the Township Supervisors along with the solicitor, township engineer, sewage enforcement officer and Mr. Haan had a meeting in Wilkes-Barre with DEP officials but the supervisors would not comment on the meeting.  

Calls to DEP were not immediately returned.

So what did the supervisors accomplish?  They wasted more taxpayer’s money.

Build homes not gas wells!
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Re: Supervisors meet with DEP over Sewage System

Postby JoeP » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:38 pm

Thanks Sal, who would have known without your post.

Transparency has always been a problem with the Newton Supervisors, glad to see you are on top of them.

Agree we don't need drilling and gas wells ruining our rural way of life.  Has anyone considered the impact on housing prices in Marcellus Shale country - specifically Susquehanna County?  All that drilling, noise, traffic, dust and dirt, can't be helping the local housing market.  Got to wonder what's happening to their rural way of life.
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Re: Supervisors meet with DEP over Sewage System

Postby Sal » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:57 am

The meeting was improper.

There were meetings in the past with DEP and at one meeting, a township supervisor attended.  But this last meeting looks like a violation of the Sunshine Act because all of the supervisors attended and it was closed to the public.

The meeting was prearranged, there was a quorum, and the purpose was to discuss agency business which is all of the ingredients of an illegal meeting.
 
The letter from the township solicitor to DEP clearly shows the intent of the meeting and they wanted me to attend.

I declined because I believed it was inappropriate and would needlessly waste taxpayer’s money.  I have always been willing to meet with the supervisors individually or at a public meeting.  

In fact, I regularly attend township meetings so they had no valid reason to have a closed door meeting and I would be a party to that.
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