Alsace Manor will soon be a bustle of activity, according to Board of Supervisors Chairman Joseph E. Williams."All the Penn Vest financing requirements for the $3.5 million sewer project [involving about 196 homes] are now completed and the contractors will begin building the distribution line," Williams said. "We will do one or two streets at a time, beginning at Township Hall to Antietam Road."

Williams said the residents within the pre-determined sewer district should expect notices before the identifying stakes are placed where each owner must tie into the system and also when the project actually begins.

Every will household receive a pump and curb stops as part of the $6.000 fee payable to the township, with their individual plumbers handling the hook-up chores.

The monthly costs were estimated by the Penn-Vest officials, but Supervisor Keith Blankenbiller said the exact amount has yet to be determined.

"Even though we have accepted the bids of contractors, we are perusing every line item to reduce the final monthly costs to each customer. Also, we are still trying to secure private easements so the main line doesn't have to travel as far, potentially saving us all a lot of money," Blankenbiller said.

Williams said the residents have 90 days to connect to the sewer line when it becomes operational, in late December at the earliest. As a requirement of Penn Vest, the township will have other pumps available as replacements if the originals malfunction, while the broken ones will be reconditioned for further use.

Responding to a resident's question, Blakenbiller said the connection systems are designed to be self contained and will work properly unless there is any abnormal usage.

"There may be a problem if a household doesn't have enough electric power to operate the pump system," Williams added, suggesting the residents check with their electricians and plumbers before construction begins.

In an effort to save each potential customer additional costs, Williams suggested residents pay the $1,000 fee to add another lateral curb stop before the winter freeze; especially in an area a future subdivision is later planned. An additional $5,000 would be due when the line is actually hooked to the sewer.

"This might be a good idea," Bankenbiller said, "Because it will cost the property owner a lot more if the township has to dig up macadam we have just replaced after the system is in."

Chairman of the township planning commission Michael Moore warned the audience if they do install other laterals, this does not guarantee subdivision approval.

Each household would still have to undergo the full planning process.

Williams also reminded the residents to apply for Berks County Redevelopment Authority funding for system tie-in through director Kenneth Pick's Reading office. "It's on a first come first serve basis."

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