Farmington, Knox Twp., and PAWC report positive talks

By Rodney L. Sherman

CLARION NEWS Editor

LEEPER

Farmington Township officials are working to gather information requested by Pennsylvania America Water Co.

PAWC has acknowledged an interest in acquiring Farmington Township's water and sewerage collection and treatment systems.

The deal would involve a lot of money and a lot of legal wrangling and that doesn't happen very fast.

Farmington Township Supervisor Matt Sherbine said this month the township had a telephone conversation with PAWC about the potential sale.

"They (PAWC) asked for an extensive list of information," said Sherbine. "They want to figure out a plan and then we'll go from there."

Farmington Township Secretary Robin Kahle added, "It's going to take a while to gather up all the information they asked for."

Acquiring the Farmington Township systems could affect a potential deal between PAWC and the Knox Township Municipal Authority which faces a state Department of Environmental Protection mandate to establish a sewerage collection and treatment system in the Lucinda area.

If PAWC acquires the Farmington Township systems, it would take the township out of the "water and sewage business." If PAWC agrees to build and operate a sewerage system in Lucinda, it could provide service for less cost than the KTMA could using loans and grants to build the system.

"Pennsylvania American Water is encouraged by the willingness of both communities to continue discussions regarding the unique challenges associated with providing families with high quality water and wastewater service at reasonable rate," Gary Lobaugh, PAWC Western Pennsylvania External Affairs Manager told the CLARION NEWS.

"We believe both municipalities can build upon our successful legacy of consolidation and regionalization in Clarion County, which has removed the burden of financing needed water and wastewater system investments, while keeping these essential services affordable," said Lobaugh. "We are looking forward to additional conversations and confident that Pennsylvania American Water's established record of accomplishment make us an ideal partner for the respective water and wastewater challenges both communities are facing."

PAWC provides wastewater service to the following Clarion County communities: Clarion and Shippenville boroughs, and Clarion, Monroe, Paint and Elk Townships.

The Farmington Township sewerage service line extends down State Route 66 to the Knox Township border.

Any sewerage service lines established in the Lucinda area could be used to send sewage north to the Farmington Township treatment plant near Tylersburg

But the sewage from the Lucinda area also could be piped to PAWC's plant near Shippenville.

Farmington Township's systems are now clear of any grant or loan restrictions on a sale of the either system.

KTMA has an approved PennVEST loan and grant in its pocket for the construction of a sewerage collection and treatment system and the KTMA last month agreed to seek additional funding through a H20 Pa. grant.

It's not yet entirely clear how those grants and loans might be affected if PAWC agrees to build and operate the Lucinda area system.