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Shakeups and a search team in the works at water authority


Changes are in the pipeline at the Springtown Water Authority.

There will be a new position of system manager, who will report to the authority. Township Supervisor Pete Kade said Sunday the township was hoping to hire Dick Cernok, who resigned from the authority board in February.

If appointed, Cernok would continue his former duties, following up on delinquent accounts, conducting leak detection, flushing the water system twice a year, as well as assisting authority member Aimee Douglas with quarterly meter reading and getting bills out, but now he would be paid by the township.

Cernok could not legally remain on the authority and be a paid contractor, so he resigned after doing the work voluntarily for more than 25 years. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to have him,” Kade said.

In a bid to improve communication between the two entities, Douglas had requested that a supervisor volunteer to sit on the five-member board, and that too will happen. Kade announced last Tuesday that he will be on the board, and serve as a liaison between it and the township.

The authority also plans to send a “SWA team” out to map all the curb boxes, or water shutoff valves. Douglas said it won’t be an easy process because some have been paved over since they were first installed decades ago. Once located, the authority will input the GPS coordinates, which will then appear on a township database.

The water system, which dates from the 1890s, serves more than 200 customers in the village. For decades it operated as a private company until the township took it over in 1979.

In other news, interim manager Jason Wager will become township manager this month. Wager bested 18 other candidates for the position, for which he will be paid an annual salary of $95,000, rising to $105,000 over the next two years.

At the board’s February meeting, Supervisor Jim Hopkins cited Wager’s familiarity with the township, his people skills and financial background in the unanimous decision. That financial background included time as township treasurer.

Wager, who left the township in 2016 to manage Union Township in Berks County, thanked supervisors for the opportunity. “I’m excited to get the ball rolling.”

He succeeds Mike Brown, who resigned in December after serving for five years.