Residents of Longview Mobile Home Court in Derry Township are concerned about a sewage issue that’s taking place within the trailer court.
Derry Township solicitor Michael Hammond said there is an ongoing matter involving sewage during Tuesday’s regular meeting, but he wasn’t able to divulge additional details in a public meeting.
“At the time we can discuss that publicly, we certainly will, but we just can’t right now,” Hammond said. “The township is kind of in the middle. We’re not in a position to be making the decisions. We’re not driving the bus.
“We’re happy to make sure the citizens that live there know what (they) can know, but unfortunately, there’s nothing we can tell you right now.”
Several citizens mentioned rumors of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) closing Longview Mobile Home Court. Last month, the supervisors approved holding tank agreements for the mobile home park.
Supervisors Chairman Vince DeCario explained at the time that the DEP wanted holding tanks installed for a malfunctioning sewage system. Some residents said trailers couldn’t be moved because the structure was too old and others were concerned with moving a family in a short period of time.
Hammond said he didn’t have answers to the residents’ questions. He also doesn’t think the residents will get a response from the owner of the trailer court.
“We’re not, not communicating because we don’t want to,” Hammond said. “A lot of it is ongoing, so final decisions haven’t been made. I will tell you that I haven’t heard a date, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not a thing. I understand what you’re dealing with, and I wish I could tell you what you want to hear, but I just can’t.”
Hammond did discuss the potential for the DEP to shut down a similar area.
“Just generally speaking, not speaking with regards to this issue particularly, depending on the severity of the issue, (the DEP) has the right to come in and shut you down immediately,” Hammond said. “That’s just using broad strokes. Given the nature of the property, I would expect there to be a reasonable amount of time of notice to be given to the folks that live there. But don’t quote me on that.”
Hammond also laid out another potential scenario.
“Again, without speaking to this, generally, it’s going to be whatever compromise the property owner and the DEP come to,” Hammond said. “Normally, they will enter into some sort of consent decree. The property owner will do certain things, and if the DEP feels they’re not reasonable, or haven’t upheld their end of the bargain, they can take further steps to shut that down.”
But that’s a question that’s better directed to the DEP, as Hammond said the township is not in position to know what the DEP may do, and the effect it will have on those who live there, in this particular instance.
Hammond added that there are ongoing discussions about plans that are supposed to be put into place to address the concerns. He added that there have been meetings as recent as a week-and-a-half ago, and another is scheduled for the end of the month.
“I understand your concerns, and I would be having the same ones,” Hammond said. “If the township would be in a position to share more with you, we certainly would. It’s not because we don’t want you to know. We don’t know ourselves how it’s going to play out.
“They have an attorney, they’re dealing with DEP, and we’re in the middle. We don’t know what the DEP will do. They’re looking into it, and we don’t know the discussions they’re having.”
Hammond suggested residents continue to stay vigilant.
“They’re coming to meetings, they’re contacting the DEP, they’re doing the right things,” Hammond said. “There is nothing we can go into publicly. There are discussions being held that we can’t discuss. I think the citizens are doing all they can by coming to the meeting and asking questions. At the appropriate time, whatever decision is being made, will be communicated.”
Also at the meeting, the supervisors:
- Learned that submittals have been submitted for a pipe repair project on Raymond Avenue, and all but one has been approved. A pre-job meeting is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 9, and supervisor David Slifka expects the project to last about two months, as the road has been closed since last fall. In June, the supervisors approved a $203,112 contract to St. Marys-based North Rock Construction Company for the pipe repair project.
- Approved a Real Estate Lease Agreement with Bradenville United Methodist Church for recreational use only.
“We’re going to get ahold of a professional, have them look it over and see what we can do,” DeCario said. “We’re going to tell them to develop the property for young people, older adults, everybody in the township. What can you do with five or six acres?”
- Passed a Conservation Partnership agreement between the Westmoreland Conservation District and Derry Township, noting that the conservation district will protect all water resources and conserve national resources of the commonwealth within Derry Township;
- Heard from Mark Piantine, chief of Derry Township Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 in Bradenville, who thanked the supervisors and State Rep. Joe Petrarca for securing funding for a new fire station;
- Heard from the co-chair of the Friends of Caldwell Library, who thanked the supervisors for a donation earlier this year. She noted the summer reading program is thriving and one resident saved $869.43 by using the public library;
- Noted that no glass or plastic or bags of any kind can be put into the township’s recycling container or left along the road for the garbage hauler. Also, there will be a state farmer’s market nutrition program for seniors voucher signups from 10 to 11 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 21 at A.V. Germano Hall, 100 West Second St. in Derry Borough;
- Approved the Rhodes subdivision No. 2 off Route 217, upon the approval of the county department of planning.