Bethel Park looking to upgrade sewage treatment plant

Published Feb 26, 2013 at 12:53 pm (Updated Mar 1, 2013 at 11:19 am)

Bethel Park Council members are considering a $26 million bond issue to finance upgrades to the sewage treatment plant it shares with South Park Township.

Funds from the bond would be used to complete a list of projects recommended in a review done by Chester Engineers and will be part of a five-year plan, explained Jim Boyle, chairman of the municipal authority.

Some of the work will be on the plant and some will be on the sewer lines, Boyle said.

Top priority will be replacing equipment at the plant.

“We have repaired it and quite honestly, we’re living on borrowed time,” he said. “A lot of these things are just worn out and there are no replacement parts. The monies we’re looking for are not because we don’t take care of things.”

The municipal authority also plans to replace and repair sewer lines and upgrade the sewage plant building, which was built in 1957.

Council President Tim Moury said there will be no increase in sewer rates to cover the financing.

In other business:

The members of the Bethel Park Volunteer Fire Company are inviting residents to a public meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. March 7 at the main fire station on Brightwood Road.

Firefighters would like to tell the residents about the fire company and the services it provides in advance of a voter referendum on a dedicated fire tax.

The proposed referendum, which will appear on May primary ballot, will allow a change to the home rule charter to establish a .34 mill dedicated tax for the fire service.

The all-volunteer company, which for 86 years has subsisted solely on fundraising and grants, has reached a point were it can no long exist without a dedicated funding source, members said.

The proposed tax would be used to fund a new $8.2 million fire station the company is proposing to build to replace the aging main station, and to provide operating funds for the company.

Firefighters said the building, which was built in 1954 when the company responded to only 96 calls a year, is in bad shape and inadequate for a company that responded to nearly 400 calls last year. Construction on the new station is expected to begin next year.

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