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Bally Questions Sewer and Water Use for 700-Unit Housing Development
Written by Mary Gibbs Kershner, Correspondent

        Recently, Bally Holding Group filed a development plan for 700 mixed residential units in Washington Township. The development is located in the vicinity of County Line Road in Berks County and Route 100. 

        Matt Doll, Solicitor for Bally Borough, informed the Bally Borough Council on Tuesday night a meeting was held between himself, the developer, and Washington Township Solicitor, Dan Becker to discuss the plan. Washington Township had considered rezoning the property. Doll speculated the developer is trying to protect his legal right to develop his property by filing a development plan before Washington Township could rezone the site. 
        One of the requirements under the old zoning was the development must have sewer and water. Bally Holding Group was interested to know if Bally could provide sewer and water to the property. 
        Borough Manager Leo “Boots” Mutter explained the developer was informed that the well that services Bally’s residents “can’t be stressed.” 
        While the Borough of Bally can handle the amount of sewer the project would generate, any builder must construct his own collection system. Mutter explained the fees to connect to Bally’s water and sewer systems would be “enormous” for the developer. 
        In the past, the local fire companies have used Bally’s water to fill pools. It was a way to raise money for fire company expenses. Bally never charged for it service. As Borough Councilman Ronald Gilbert said, “It was all based on the honor system.” However, Bally wants to know how much water is being generated by its well and has decided to monitor it. 
        The borough has decided to charge $15 per truck for water, even to the fire companies, and to limit the use of the service.
        Council adopted a resolution that permits the newly reorganized Eastern Berks Fire Company to collect fees for its expenses from insurance companies when they are called to an emergency. The fire company has promised to only collect fees from insurance companies, not residents who have experienced an emergency. However, Solicitor Matt Doll noted there is language in the resolution that enables the fire company to legally pursue insurance companies if they refuse to pay. 
        Doll explained, “Otherwise they would refuse to pay.” Doll also noted, “There is no language in the resolution that specifically states they will not pursue anyone.” 
        If there is a problem Doll reminded the borough council it can rescind the resolution. 
        Council adopted a flood plain ordinance required by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Doll explained while Bally is unaffected by any flood plain, it must adopt a flood plain ordinance because Bally has joint zoning with Bechtelsville borough. 
     Borough Manager Mutter announced Bally has signed an agreement of sale and provided a deposit for the small tract of land on North Church Road. The borough intends to construct a water tower on the site. The total cost for the 7/10th of an acre is approximately $21,000.
     The borough council agreed to sign a franchise agreement with Comcast. The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) regulates how cable television is provided. Bally cannot control who provides cable TV to its citizens. In the Bally area the cable TV provider is Comcast. Council Vice President, Tom Leister, questioned, “Why do they make us go through this, when they tell us what we are going to get?” Solicitor Doll explained if the borough denied Comcast the use of its right of way, Comcast would petition the courts. In the meantime, Bally citizens would not get cable.





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