By J.R. Brower
At the request of the Peters Township Sanitary Authority (PTSA), the township put before council a proposal to begin using closed circuit TV cameras to inspect sewers when properties are sold.
The authority met with council in early June and brought the idea to their attention as a way to improve dye tests that check the efficiency of sanitary sewers. Council discussed the matter at their July 12 meeting, and the overall consensus was that it was a good idea.
The only potential problem raised was the fact that the township is served by two sewer districts, the other being the Peters Creek Sanitary Authority (PCSA) in the eastern portion of the township, which also serves Finleyville Borough, Union and Nottingham Townships and several municipalities in Allegheny County. The terms of the use of closed circuit TV sewer inspections would have to be approved by those local governments as well, if PCSA agrees with the proposal.
Township Manager Michael Silvestri said that he would discuss the matter with the PCSA board and report back on the their position. Council approved TV trial tests for PTSA at the time of property sales and recommended that they begin in older neighborhoods of the township where sewer structural damage is more likely to have occurred.
In another matter, council approved appointing new special counsel to represent the township for real estate tax appeals. The township and school district had been using the law firm of Peacock, Keller at the rate of $130 per hour, and they had recently asked for a rate increase to $140 an hour. Silvestri said the school district sought out proposals and two came back, one from the law firm of Dodaro, Matta and Cambest asking $190 per hour and the other from the law firm of Berggern and Turturice asking $85 per hour.
Council approved Berggern and Turturice to be the new representation for township tax appeals, and the school district is expected to hire the same firm for their tax appeals. All council members present approved the vote except Frank Arcuri, who abstained due to the fact that he is an attorney who is acquainted with the law firms that are involved.
In other new business, Sylvestri notified council that there were no findings in the 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. The audit was prepared by the independent certified public accounting firm of Hosack, Specht, Muetzel and Wood with the assistance of the township staff. He said that the report complies with the Government Accounting and Standards Board and has a multi-year statistical section for financial information that will be useful for future planning.
In a report on the progress of work on the park expansion project, Assistant Manager Paul Lauer said that the new ball fields are requiring extensive grading. He said that moving soil for the grading is going to result in a change order of about $43,000 over and above what was originally budgeted for the project. He said, however, the excavators will be able to take dirt from another area on the park property for fill rather from an offsite location, which will reduce the cost of soil from about $10 to $4 per yard. Township engineer Mark Zemaltis said the township will be able to save some money on parking lots for the expansion project. He said that about 2,500 tons of asphalt millings from the township road-paving program will be recycled into a sub-base for new parking lots in Peterswood Park.
In one final matter, council took no action on a request by Adam Adamsky, 524 E. McMurray Road, to lower the speed limit from 35 mph to 25 mph in the 500 block of East McMurray Road. The road is state-maintained by PennDOT, and the township has no authority to set speed limits on state roads.