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Butter Valley Meadows Must Utilize Bally’s Water, Sewer
Written by Mary Gibbs Kershner, Correspondent
2013-06-05

        Contentious testimony continued over the past week in a hearing for Butter Valley Meadows, a 772-unit development proposed for Route 100 in Washington Township.  

        Richard Mingey, president of Kelly Builders Group, developers of Butter Valley Meadows, testified on Thursday night that he has no choice but to connect to Bally borough’s water and sewer services.
        A Bally official previously testified the borough would be unable to provide adequate sewer and water service to such a large-scale development.  
        Mingey noted that as part of the intermunicipal agreement between Bally and Washington Township, the agreement requires him to connect to Bally’s water and sewer services.
        At a previous hearing, Bally Engineer, Thomas Unger, System Design Engineering, testified the location of the development
in Washington Township on Route 100 is outside the area designated to be covered by the intermunicipal agreement.  
        Mingey also testified that Bally Borough #4 well is located directly across from his proposed development, making it “logical” for Bally to supply water to his site.
        Mingey testified he had requested a meeting with Bally’s solicitor and its engineer.  The borough council agreed to permit its professional representatives to meet with him.  The borough council agreed to establish an escrow account to be paid by Mingey for the cost of Bally’s professional services.  
        However, Bally’s engineer refused to attend a meeting with Mingey because he had testified on Bally’s behalf at Washington Township’s proposed residential development hearing.
        Bally’s solicitor agreed to meet with Mingey’s attorney.  Mingey testified he was never given an amount by Bally officials for the escrow for the professional services.  Mingey also testified he must follow Washington Township’s waste water management plans for his development.  
        In other testimony, John Diemer, a civil engineer, was qualified as an expert witness on behalf of the proposed development.  Diemer has designed many storm water and waste water management plans.  Diemer testified he reviewed the storm water calculations for Butter Valley Meadows’ PRD hearing.  
        He testified he reviewed the existing drainage on the site and reviewed what post-development conditions on the site would be. Diemer noted the plan showed a drainage area that complied with township ordinances. He testified the plan showed peak water runoff based on existing conditions and peak run off rates after development.
        Diemer said that in one area of the development site it would be necessary to control runoff after development by storage of the runoff.  He said control of the storm water on the site is “manageable.”  There is room for an additional 3-1/2 acre retention basin.  
        He also said that some open space might be reduced if the additional basin was deemed necessary for storm water retention.  He noted, in that case, extra open space would be made available.
        On Monday night, during the last phase of testimony in the hearing, Greg Adelman, attorney for Mingey, said that Mingey was not permitted at the hearing to present evidence for on-site sewer and water service for the development. On-site sewer service is permitted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for large developments if there is no alternative.  
        However, the guidelines for on-site sewer service in a large development are very stringent.  
        Two witnesses for the applicant were cross-examined by Amy Goode, attorney for Washington Township’s engineers.  John Diemer, a civil engineer representing the developer, testified that his storm water calculations for the development’s plan were completed approximately one week prior to the last PRD hearing on May 29.  Diemer’s stormwater calculations were not in the original plan of the development filed on Jan. 30, 2012.  
        Fred Ebert, an engineer who testified on behalf of the applicant, said that he had reviewed the possible expansion of Bally’s waste water treatment plant. Additionally, Ebert testified the approximate size of the equalization tanks on an upgraded waste water treatment plant were in accordance with the DEP guidelines and were within a range of 200,000 to 600,000 gallons per day.  
        The Washington Township Board of Supervisors will render its decision on the Butter Valley Meadows development on Sept. 26 at its regular township meeting.  No testimony or discussion will be taken at that time.  Washington Township Solicitor Dan Becker announced the board of supervisors will make its decision in executive session.  
        The applicant did not object to the board of supervisors making its decision in an executive session.

 

 

 

 

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