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Warrington close to deal on water system purchase


The Warrington Board of Supervisors held a public meeting Aug. 20 dedicated to a proposal for purchase of the township’s sewer system and customer accounts within Warrington Township.

Under consideration for vote in early September is the Sewer Asset Purchase Agreement with Bucks County Water and Sewer Authority. A draft is posted on the township website and details continue to be shared to address resident questions or concerns.

Attorneys Michael Thom and David Nasatir of Obermayer, Rebmann, Maxwell and Hippel LLP, representing the township, developed the proposal with Bucks County Water and Sewer Authority on behalf of the township. In addition to the financials, one highlight for the evening by Thom and Nasatir included the 4-year rate lock for Warrington customers proposed in the agreement.

Roughly 40 people attended the open public forum meeting. Nancy Teldo of Turk Road inquired as to how some pump station failures reported within her region were impacted by this consideration.

According to Chair Fred Baines, Warrington Township staff have looked to remedy the concern, even with a limited staff at times. Baines indicated this type of example as one reason this sale can result in more system help, greater resources and more staff to address changing systems and technology.

Christian Jones, manager within Warrington Township, was able to provide further detail on these types of decisions with respect to the present rental of diesel power pumps in certain areas. With an understanding of the present system, Jones agreed with many in attendance that if a purchase does occur, the decision for continued rental of these types of pumps or an alternative solution will be an initial consideration for the new owner.

John Butler, chief operating officer of the Bucks County Water and Sewer Authority, a nonprofit authority, highlighted a number of details. All stations, approximately 26 or so in Warrington, he said, will be given wireless control systems and eventually switched over to portable generation. The process is incremental and anticipated to take 18 months in duration on average.

The result is the ability to have better monitoring of the system, its usage and to enhance environmental aspects with technology, Butler said.

Several residents questioned rates, meters and billing. Dan Walcheck of Continental Drive was interested if comparison and analysis was completed regarding future rate changes.

According to the supervisors, the analysis was completed extensively over the lengthy planning process. In addition, Butler discussed the rate lock in the proposal and shared with the group the nonprofit status of the authority and that the goal is to keep customer rate increases to a minimum as well as to spread rate increases across the approximate 90.000 customers of the entire authority.

One item that was noted as a change should the proposal pass was the switch to a monthly sewer bill rather than the present quarterly bill in place by the township.

Supervisor Carol Baker clarified several agreement pieces with the group and Supervisor Shirley Yannich also noted that all public questions were addressed and answers were able to be provided as part of the evening’s forum.

The board decision is expected at the first public meeting in September, Tuesday, Sept. 10.