Municipal Report: Goodville residents concerned about new sewer plans

In 2002, Goodville was identified as a village with failing sewage systems, said Chairman Dave Zimmerman at a large gathering of concerned residents at the Nov. 12 East Earl Township meeting.

Information could have been forwarded to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection by a neighbor or a resident. Then it was on the DEP radar. Studies of water samples showed some wells were contaminated.

The DEP has issued a consent order that East Earl develop plans regardless of cost. A sketch plan was to be prepared by Dec. 4. Those who are to hook onto the system have been notified. Township officials have told the DEP that they would like to look beyond Goodville.

Package systems only provide relief for a minimal number of properties, said Supervisor Joe Shriver. Officials are looking into five options: sand mounds, pumping the systems, a system using Rutts old facilities or pumping the effluent to the New Holland treatment plant. So far, none are acceptable.

The township has been contacted by Terre Hill Borough, said Shriver. The Hahns, owners of Conestoga Wood Products, have offered several acres of land on which a treatment plant could be built to serve Terre Hill Borough and Goodville, and the municipalities have some time to look into a joint plan. A new consent order would have to be approved between East Earl and Terre Hill.

The Sewer Authority was established in 1987 and amended in 2002. The area of Sheep Hill got sewers with the effluent being sent to Earl Township. The cost of putting sewers in at Goodville was prohibitive at that point. Even the DEP agreed at the time that the cost was excessive, Shriver said.

Don Messner asked how the sewers from Goodville might affect Frogtown. He asked about the plans.

There would be a pumping station in the Frogtown area, said Zimmerman. The sewer line would go west along Route 23 to Route 625, and then to Conestoga Wood Products.

Residents of Frogtown will not be required to hook onto the system, said Zimmerman, and the sewer line will follow the right of way.

The township has to come up with a workable plan, said Supervisor Earl Kreider. The deadline to make a decision is Dec. 24. The DEP likes the idea of Terre Hill and Goodville working together with a plant at Conestoga Wood Products.

A resident who said he is also a civil engineer tried to calm the residents. He said East Earl officials are studying options and need time to work it out. He asked that officials just keep it to form and let residents know what is going on.

It will be a while, said Zimmerman. Township officials are asking for a new consent order and an extension to look for a new plan by mid-2014. In 2002, supervisors had some funds and plans for a package system. The project was stopped, however, because the sewer line would cross an organic farm and it was not cost effective to go around it. The cost per hookup would have been about $28,000.

Zimmerman said the Board of Supervisors takes a long look at things before doing anything. There will be a series of public meetings, and anyone affected will be notified of them.

No building of any type will take place in a flood plain. The area at Conestoga Wood Products would be a good location because any discharge would be into the Conestoga Creek. The Black Creek near Terre Hill has been designated as a high quality stream.

An extension has been granted until Feb. 1, 2015 before any construction will be started on the bridge over the Conestoga Creek on Conestoga Creek Road, said Zimmerman. The construction of the new bridge has already been in the planning for 12 years.

The board voted to advertise the preliminary budget for 2014, which has no tax increase.

During the month of October, the East Earl Police Department received 128 calls for service. There were 12 traffic accident investigations and 27 criminal investigations. In East Earl, there were 13 calls for service and two traffic accidents investigated. Ninety traffic citations were issued and 14 individuals were arrested for crimes codes violations.

After a speed study at Cedar Lane Heights, it was determined that the speed does not warrant speed bumps to slow traffic.

In October, Zoning Officer Shaun Seymour issued 25 building permits worth $437,550. Fees of $1,950 were collected. Three permits were renewed and 11 occupancy permits were granted. Seymour also attended a seminar on fire alarm safety.

Emergency management coordinator Bill Shirk said because of safety training, the township will get a 5 percent reduction in the cost of workers compensation. A training session seminar will be required for all maintenance workers on Nov. 19.

Emergency Services is establishing a mobile command unit for major incidents. Information has been available to the Emergency Management on flood control and response, bomb threats and attempted or real conflicts involving guns.

A farmer whose corn field adjoins the Cheltenham development at Route 23 and Route 897 said water from 11 houses is flowing onto his land. The water was supposed to be directed onto the street. The developer will not do anything unless the township forces him to do it. Zimmerman said there are some escrow funds available.

Shirk said officials would like to see the scenic byway designation on Route 23 extended through Chester County all the way to Valley Forge. The Byway will help keep the community rural, said Shriver. A priority is to stop the proliferation of signs.

An extension has been granted until May 7 for final compliance with the new stormwater management dictates, said Zimmerman. Lancaster County has asked for time to make some amendments. Earth disturbance and construction are concerns.

In October, the Zoning Hearing Board granted requests for land development plans for Weaverland Auction and a setback for a manure pit for Alan Zeiset.

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