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From the Vault: News from the Wednesday, Jan. 28, 1976, edition of the Press & Journal

Posted 1/29/19

Gulp!!! Water rates up 53 percent, sewer 138 percent

There is no end these days to the fiscal realities of inflation as faced by borough fathers.

Monday night’s special session was no …

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From the Vault: News from the Wednesday, Jan. 28, 1976, edition of the Press & Journal

Posted

Gulp!!! Water rates up 53 percent, sewer 138 percent

There is no end these days to the fiscal realities of inflation as faced by borough fathers.

Monday night’s special session was no exception. In the presence of Borough Authority members and spokesmen for Betz Environmental Engineers, council members were briefed on the financial impact of the state-mandated order to upgrade its sewage waste facility to secondary treatment. Co-related to the technological improvement of the waste treatment plant is the increase in water rates for borough residents.

It may come as shock akin to being subjected to a cold shower but here are the facts:

(1) Water rates will go up 53 percent.

(2) Sewer system rates will advance by 138 percent.

The average water customer in Middletown uses 12,000 gallons a quarter. On the present system, the quarterly cost is $16.55 or $66.20 a year. Projected rates, although not officially adopted as yet, will see the quarterly cost at $40.65.

The increase in sewer rates is more pronounced. The average customer will now pay $125 per annum instead of $54.

In order to finance improvements to the water and sewer systems, the Borough Authority will float a bond issue in the amount of $1,654,000. The interest rate will be 6.79 percent. The total project cost is $4,465,400. The difference between this amount and the authority’s bond issue is a $3,655,300 federal grant.

Although there is nothing that borough councilmen or authority members can do about the overall project costs (the improvements are mandated by the state’s Department of Environmental Resources and the federal government’s Environmental Protective Agency), both bodies are critical because Middletown residents will “pick up the tab” for a system that will eventually include and benefit residents of Royalton and Londonderry and Lower Swatara townships. Seventy-five percent of added flow into the sewage treatment system will be generated by Lower Swatara Township and the borough of Royalton.

And while DER has mandated secondary treatment of sewage and stipulated the outlying municipalities will be part of the overall system, DER has not established a time period when Royalton, Lower Swatara and Londonderry come onto the system.

Councilman Vincent Tritch, Third Ward, expressed it bluntly: “We’ve been legislated into a very costly situation. And there’s nothing we can do about it.”

Boundary lines have been set for the geographical areas of Lower Swatara, Royalton and Londonderry to be serviced by the sewage treatment system. Lower Swatara already is linked to the borough’s sewage system since lines now handle waste generated at Olmsted Plaza Shopping Center and the Campus Manor Apartments just north of Spring Street.

Outlying districts eventually must pay their share although their capital contributions are not figured at this time of financing and construction.

The impact of the proposed Port Royal Hills residential development in Royalton was raised by one councilman. He was told the treatment plant expansion is not designed to accommodate such input. When that time comes the developers must absorb expansion costs or no permit to build will be issued.

Borough workers might withdraw from union

Are borough employees disenchanted with their 10-month involvement with the union?

The Press & Journal has learned that 21 employees have petitioned the state’s Department of Labor and Industry for “decertification” action. The state relayed this information to the borough in a letter dated Jan. 21.

In their petition and letter to the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, the employees requested an election to vote on the issue.

Employees “went union” last March 20 by a margin of one vote. In that election, 39 employees voted 20-19 for affiliation with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

The present contract will terminate on March 19, 1976.

The collective employer unit includes workers in eight departments as follows: administrative, seven employees; communications, three employees; highway department, eight employees; sewage plant, one employee; water department, six employees; parks and recreation, three employees; custodial, two employees; electric, nine employees.

Gummo’s 32 points pace Blue Raiders

over Patriots

They were off and running last night at Raider Hall.

Fantastic shooting, speed and passing proved a dominating triumvirate as Casper Voithofer’s Raiders turned back an aggressive Red Land Patriots combination, 87-69.

Since their heartbreaking overtime loss last week to East Pennsboro, the Raiders have won two straight over Milton Hershey (55-49), and last night’s win over Red Land.

Voithofer’s team will hit the road for two straight games, traveling to Susquehanna Township this Friday, and to Mechanicsburg next Tuesday.

It was announced last night the Raiders will again compete in the PIAA playoffs. There was a pro-like tempo from the very start of the Raiders-Patriots clash.

Bobby Gummo drew first blood for Middletown and it signaled what was to become his most brilliant offensive effort of the season.

He hit on jumpers and fast drives to roll up 32 points on 16 goals.

Steve Chubb, the Patriots' brilliant offensive performer, turned in a 28-point performance.

Hot buys

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Other headlines

• Solid waste disposal project criticized

• Heavy rains cause minor area flooding

• “Outstanding Young Man” awarded to James Patterson

• Citizens’ group to probe new property assessments