Citizens Question Troy Water Sales

This short article from the Daily Review poses some questions from folks living in the Troy area. They asked some good questions and these questions are something that we should all be aware of and asking our own municipalities.

BY ERIC HRIN

TROY – A concerned citizens group in Troy has asked the borough about the sales of water to gas companies in the local natural gas drilling industry.

It was one of the issues brought up by the group in a letter submitted to the borough and signed by the Rev. Garry Zuber of Troy. On Oct. 1, the citizens met at the Troy Baptist Church to discuss mutual concerns regarding the borough. Zuber had presided over the meeting.

“How much is the borough (sic) making from the sale of water to the gas companies and where is that money going?” the letter read. “How is it being used?”

In a formal response to the citizens’ letter, Brian Laverty, borough council president, wrote that the sale of water has benefited all residents by keeping water rates unchanged in the face of major expenses.

“There has been a DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) required replacement of the cistern building that was collapsing,” he wrote. “The cost was $79,000 to replace. We have also updated our billing and meter reading system at a cost of $15,000. Also, many of the borough fire hydrants have been replaced and others will be repaired through funds received from the water sales.”

He wrote that many people fail to realize that many parts of the borough water infrastructure are more than 100 years old and are constantly being repaired and updated, as needed.

“A single valve can cost $1,000,” he continued. “Also, we have a multi-million dollar sewer treatment facility that is reaching the end of its life expectancy now that it is 21 years old. New regulations requiring system upgrades and replacing old pumps and motors is not going to come without major investment. Monies are prudently being set aside for all these capital improvements so that we could prevent a major rate hike which would cause an undue burden on our residents.”

Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5521; e-mail: reviewtroy@thedailyreview.com.

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