A lack of a sewer agreement between Allen Township and Northampton Borough has left some residents in limbo. The Intermunicipal Sewer Services Agreement between the two municipalities has been expired since 2016.
Without an agreement, developers cannot hook up homes to the sewer system. With no hook up, residents are not allowed to move into their new homes. Some, like Patty Rogers, have nowhere else to go. For over 10 months, she says, she has been “in limbo.” She is not currently a township resident, but she hoped to be. Others, like Chris Yagerhofer, have a home they can stay in, but it does not make the situation any less frustrating.
“It is just a big mess,” she told supervisors during their July 9 meeting. “We would really love to live in your township.”
The original sewer agreement was created in 2012. The new agreement, according to solicitor Lincoln Treadwell, creates some concern.
“I have more than a couple of questions,” he said.
The way the agreement is currently written, he added, would make it impossible for Allen Township to sign.
Among his concerns is a change in the sewer rate that Northampton would charge Allen Township. Despite the mention of a new rate in the amended contracted, Treadwell says there is “no guide as to what the rate would be in the future.”
The agreement also proposes a penalty charge five times that of a resident’s sewer bill, which Treadwell calls “excessive.”
While Treadwell admits that the delay is frustrating for residents and hopeful residents, the “ramifications” of this new contract “are significant for everyone.”
Treadwell said he would like two Allen Township supervisors to attend a meeting between him and Northampton Borough solicitor Steven Goudsouzian.
“[We need to] try and get this thing done,” he added.
Supervisor Larry Oberly agreed.
“That is what we have been waiting for,” he said. “And it has not happened.”
Northampton offered to sell the township 100 hookup units for new development, only if the township agrees to the stipulations outlined in the amended contract.
Until that time in which township officials can settle the agreement with Northampton, residents like Rogers and Yagerhofer are left waiting.
In other news, township residents will soon have a limit on how many cans they can put out for garbage. The township’s contract with Advanced Disposal, which used to allow for unlimited garbage cans, now only allows for three cans.
Supervisors voted to accept the change. For the month of July, residents will still be allowed to put out unlimited cans. Starting on August 1, residents will be limited to three garbage cans. Residents who will require more cans must purchase stickers from the township.
Only Supervisor Dale Hassler was against the change. He said such a sudden change is not fair to residents.