The stalled Phase II of the Ridge Road sewer extension project in Chadds Ford Township is expected to begin Feb. 1 but the tapping fee has not yet been set.
Tapping fees -- what property owners are required to pay for connection to public sewers -- are based on the cost of construction divided by the number of properties involved. In previous projects such as Phase I of the Ridge Road extension and the Longview/Summit project, fees ranged from $11,000 to $12,000.
Vince Del Rossi, Chadds Ford Township Sewer Authority chairman, said the cost to property owners won't be known until the authority has a better idea what the final costs will be. He added that the fee would be announced at a public meeting.
The job of running the sewer lines for the connection of 39 more properties to the Ridings Wastewater Treatment Plant will take about six to eight weeks, he said.
Wexcon Inc., of Mohrsville (near Reading,) was awarded the construction job with a low bid of $397,000. However, that is partially offset by $110,000 of a $150,000 grant the township received. The other $40,000 went toward other sewer-related needs, said Del Rossi.
Garry Paul, supervisors' liaison to the Sewer Authority said there have been unexpected costs with construction projects in the past. One such occurrence, he said came during Phase I of the Ridge road project when the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation required the authority to move a storm culvert at the authority's expense. Such expenses add to the cost of the project and are part of the tapping fee calculation.
This second phase of the Ridge Road sewer extension comes roughly a year-and-a-half after residents of the Raven Crest development blocked the project with a lawsuit against the township.
According to Kathy Labrum, of the township solicitor's office Donaghue and Labrum, there is a settlement agreement on the table saying Chadds Ford Township will pay the Raven Crest Homeowners' Association $100,000 for the deed to a lot with a private sewer plant in the development. However, that agreement has not yet been signed.
Labrum was uncertain whether that money would factor into the tapping fee. Sewer Authority solicitor John Mezzanotte as unavailable for comment. However, Paul said he didn't think that $100,000 could be calculated as part of the tapping fee because it is not part of the construction cost.
The Homeowners' Association brought the action in June of 2004 saying the supervisors failed to respond properly to their (the homeowners') concerns about the need for the extension.
During the Jan. 18 meeting, the authority reorganized and voted to have Del Rossi serve another year as chairman, then voted Paul Linsen to be vice chairman. New members on the authority this year are Marc Altman and Keith Klaver. Anthony Cutrona is a returning member and Bonnie Taylor will serve as recording secretary.