Sewage patrons in Broad Top Township are being warned not to dispose “flushable wipes” in the community sewer system because the material causes problems at the treatment system in Riddlesburg.

The matter was among several agenda topics reviewed by township supervisors Robert Figard, Donald Black and chairman Donald Hedge Jr. who conducted their monthly meeting earlier this month in the township municipal complex in Defiance.

Hedge informed the supervisors that a grinder pump burned up at the treatment plant which was caused by customers disposing of “flushable wipes” into the system. “We have warned customers on several occasions about the problem,” explained Hedge. “It is important to realize that wipes are not biodegradable even though the label may say so.”

Adding that it cost the township about $1,500 to fix a pump, Hedge and fellow supervisors went on record to include a warning in each customer’s wastewater bills informing customers that they will be responsible for any repairs to a pump proven to be caused by “flushable wipes.”

The supervisors are also eying enforcement of an ordinance that would require property owners selling property not connected to the township sewage system to have an inspection performed by a sewage enforcement officer to make sure the system is in proper working condition.

The supervisors announced that they have met with the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) about an illegal subdivision in the municipality, adding that the review “is still going through the process, making sure things are done correctly.” The site is located near the Cooper Recreational Area, south of Hopewell.

The supervisors and township SEO John Young are expected to visiting other rural properties to determine the best type of sewage treatment for residential systems including the option of installing holding tanks. Hedge stressed that each step must be documented in order to come up with a feasible solution for rural sewage treatment.

Turning to acid mine discharge (AMD) remediation work taking place in the township, Hedge announced that an AMD system along Judy Hollow near Defiance has been completed, adding that water samples are now being taken from the site in order to determine if the system is operating properly.

Other AMD work is continuing in the municipality including hauling “hi-Cal” stone and working with an AMD site near Route 915 in the Langdondale area.

With engineering plans being put together by PennDOT for a Cold Spring Bridge project near the Six Mile Run American Legion Post, the supervisors unanimously approved a resolution amending a reimbursement agreement with PennDOT that adds $50,000 to the preliminary planning. The township is responsible for five percent of the cost. The project is slated to start sometime in 2022.

Regarding records associated with the Evans Cemetery, situated in the township near White Church, the supervisors recommended that a public meeting be scheduled at the Six Mile Run Fire Hall to determine the disposition of the cemetery records. The supervisors would like to see the information transferred to an elected body to oversee the historic graveyard.

Hedge reported that the supervisors recently met with representatives of the Center for Community Action (CAA) regarding a $100,000 PHARE funding grant (and other funding opportunities) for proposed senior housing units for the former Defiance Elementary School.

The township was informed that the municipality does not have to come up with a match for the grant and the township can also utilize its own maintenance personnel to construct proposed apartments, expected to be a cost-cutting measure for the municipality.

Hedge also reported that several other potential grant programs which could be helpful with the proposed senior housing project “don’t allow doing things in phases, but must be done all at once.”

In other business the supervisors:

— learned that youth softball practice has started in the former Defiance Elementary School now owned by the township. The practice sessions take place Mondays and Wednesdays as well as Adult Alumni Basketball which continues Tuesdays and Thursdays.

— approved a $150 donation to Camp Cadet in Bedford County.

— signed a letter of support for the introduction of the federal “Connecting America’s Active Transportation Act,” introduced by the U.S. Congress. “The new bill will focus federal investment on building seamless networks of trails and other safe active-transportation infrastructure within and between communities across America,” explained Hedge.

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