Great Bend addresses water and sewer issues


Borough Council addressed Cabot Oil & Gas permit to withdraw water from the Susquehanna River at Great Bend suggesting maybe that it should not be reinstated.

Councilman Bret Jennings introduced a letter he had sent to the Susquehanna River Basin Commission saying that Cabot had requested permission to withdraw water from Great Bend Borough, when the water was being drawn from a site that is within Great Bend Township.

The permit is now up for review, and Jennings recommended that the permit to withdraw 720,000 gallons of water a day for Cabot Gas and Oil be terminated. The corporation would then have to apply for a new permit for water withdrawal in Great Bend Township.

Chesapeake Gas also is permitted to withdraw water at the Great Bend site, he noted.

A water drainage problem on Washington Street was addressed at the meeting. A bid packet was received from Ed Sumski of PennDOT.

According to Jennings, there is a large pipe that is broken and sticking out of the ground near Washington’s intersection with Elizabeth Street, and there was some difficulty finding a pipe that could fit in the space permitted while being large enough to do the job.

An oblong pipe was recommended that would be a better fit, and approximately 195 feet of pipe needs to be replaced, Jennings said. There is also the issue of hauling such a length of heavy concrete pipe, which would be approximately 19 inches by 30 inches in height and width.

The council decided to advertise for bids for the concrete pipe, including hauling.

Borough secretary Sheila Guinan brought up the need for the borough’s roof to be replaced. The shingle roof has been repaired several times.

A tin roof seems to be the most feasible solution, and insulation, a vapor barrier, valves, and wood strips need to be incorporated.

The council approved consulting with a contractor or supply house to have specifications recommended, so that they can advertise for bids as soon as possible.

Councilman Jerry MacConnell said that he feels the borough residents are shouldering a disproportionate part of the municipal sewer bill.

He said, “This is a tour bus stop, which is great for McDonald’s and the other restaurants and gas stations, but is not good for our borough.”

MacConnell feels that the heavy water and sewer use at restaurant and service station restrooms is much heavier than that from borough residences. He said there must be some way to meter the discharge.

Jennings agreed to write a letter to the Pennsylvania American Sewer Authority.

He said the borough could request a study to determine the average usage rate in the area for households, and to see whether businesses are being charged for their fair share of usage.

Two pieces of play equipment, the Buzzy Bumblebee and the Hoppy Grasshopper, were ordered for the park.

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