- Grove City, Pennsylvania

April 12, 2013

G.C., Springfield officials to talk water

By Felicia A. Petro/Senior Reporter
Allied News

GROVE CITY, SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP — Springfield Township is getting a little thirsty, and supervisors may be looking to Grove City Borough for a drink.

Buhl Community Water Company, which serves Springfield, is tapped out and has informed township officials that it can take no new customers.

The issue came to light in October when representatives with Candlewood Hotel - which wants to build in Springfield - requested water from Buhl and were told "there wasn't any and that's when the board immediately met with Buhl," said Barb Brown, Springfield's administrator.

"The developer came and said 'Why is there no water,' thinking the township owned the water company and we do not," Brown added.

The water became a private source after coal mining shut down at No. 5 Mine.

Supervisors met with Buhl Water in November, "and one of the options was to get water from Grove City," she said.

Vance Oakes, Grove City Borough manager, borough engineer Dan Goncz and Pine Township supervisor George Elliot were invited to a meeting by Springfield supervisors Monday morning to start a dialog about possibly tapping into Grove City's water line.

Elliot was invited because the water line would have to run through Pine before reaching Springfield.

Oakes discussed the meeting at council's meeting Monday night.

Although the borough would want to help Springfield, "It'd have to be signed, sealed and delivered," said council President George Pokrant on Monday, adding that Springfield "has a history."

Springfield pulled out of paying into an expansion project at the wastewater treatment plant in Grove City about six years ago after the borough had the process of starting it well under way.

Brown could not address that concern, she said. And calls made to Springfield supervisors Gary Hartman and Judy Hassler were not returned before deadline Tuesday.

The expansion was to offer more wastewater capacity to surrounding municipalities that wanted it - mostly Springfield and Pine - and were going to pay for it.

Grove City didn't need more capacity; however, the borough had been funding upgrades to the plant with new equipment and systems to replace the old.

The nixed expansion - roused by former Springfield supervisor Don Bonner - saved millions, but the borough had to give back grant money for the project and rebid a new upgrade phase that is under way.

Pokrant said the water system expansion could be deferred to the Infrastructure Committee, led by councilman Joel Bigley.

"We'd only be interested if they paid for the piping," Bigley noted.

"And the expansion of the plant," added member Andrea Folkertsma.

There isn't any money in the township's budget for such a project right now because Buhl didn't inform the township "until almost end of last year," Brown said.

Not having extra water is disconcerting, she added, because it "has to do with health, safety and welfare in the township."

Published March 20, 2013, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.