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Upper Makefield may extend sewer line on Creamery Road


Upper Makefield officials are considering a sewer line extension project that proponents say could help solve problems for residents struggling with inadequate on-lot septic systems on a portion of Creamery Road.

At a public meeting on June 4, the Upper Makefield Board of Supervisors authorized township professionals to advertise for bids from contractors interested in performing the job.

Supervisors would ultimately need to approve bids and authorize work to begin before the project would commence.

An exact cost would only be known if/when supervisors approve a contract, but a ballpark figure of $300,000 came up several times in public board discussion.

Funds from the American Rescue Plan Act could be used to pick up the tab.

Township Manager Dave Nyman indicated this would be a limited extension project, and that a new line would be built (underground, of course) down the middle of the road. Necessary infrastructure would be run to property lines for eligible residents to tie in. Waste would be transported to a treatment system built in connection with The Enclave development, officials said.

Township authorities indicated that about nine properties would be able to access the new sewer extension. Nyman noted, however, that they would not be compelled to do so.

Several residents, officials said, have indicated that they are eager to hook up to the sewer line because of chronic challenges with their on-lot septic systems. A couple local residents spoke at the June 4 meeting, encouraging the board to move forward with the project.

“We’d like the project to be completed as soon as possible,” said Michael Cice. “We are very anxious to be the first family to tie in.”

Not everyone at the meeting was gung ho on the project, though.

Jane Johnson said she’d only just learned of it. She felt other residents should have a chance to review what’s proposed and offer comment before the plan proceeds.

“There shouldn’t be a vote to move this forward” yet, Johnson said.

Nyman said supervisors first green-lighted the project in 2015. A year later, he said, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection gave its blessing, at least in part because soils in the area aren’t compatible with on-lot septic improvements that would negate the need for a sewer line, according to Nyman.

A reason the project hasn’t progressed to date was the relatively hefty price tag, though with the ARP funds available that’s helped change the dynamics.

Supervisor Tom Cino wasn’t opposed to the project per se, but given that it had been eight years since DEP approved the extension, he thought more should be done to inform residents about it before authorizing to go out to bid. He wasn’t sure folks knew what could be coming their way.

“If someone was going to run a pipe down your street, you’d want some notice and you’d want to know why,” said Cino, who voted against going to bid because he felt more resident involvement was needed first.

Nyman said a communication effort was made in 2023 and a meeting forum offered, but only one resident showed up.

Supervisor Braun Taylor was among the majority who voted to move forward with soliciting bids. He felt the board was discussing “finishing work” for a project that had been designed and in the works for years.

“Our responsibility is to provide a sewer system if (on-lot systems) are failing,” Taylor said.

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