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Water damage from sump pumps is causing concern for residents in North Versailles Twp.
During the public comment portion of the February meeting, resident Michael Frawley told township commissioners that he's never had a problem until a neighbor's sump pump was installed last summer, creating hazardous conditions.
“Five inches of water froze on the driveway causing my tenant to fall, requiring medical attention,” he said. “The water is running down my driveway, 24 hours a day --- it never stops.”
Township solicitor Greg Evashavik said the problem stems from stormwater regulations that forbid water from gutters and drains from being put into the sanitary sewer system.
“Your situation is just the tip of the iceberg,” Evashavik said. “This is happening everywhere because of the requirements to get the stormwater out of the sewage.”
But Evashavik said that although the sump pump is legal, the resulting hazard it's creating is not.
“You have a legitimate complaint,” he said. “The homeowner is creating the problem. We have the right to address the homeowner about the cost of this solution.”
Commission President Frank Bivens said there are several other locations in the township where the same thing is occurring.
“We need to address these problems, we may have to do it by going to the homeowner, the person who is creating this problem, because it's falling back on the township, they are creating a hazard on our roads,” Bivens said.
In other business:
Commissioners approved a resolution to apply for a grant from the Allegheny County Community Infrastructure and Tourism Fund for $124,032 for Phase 2 renovations at Fairhaven Park.
Commissioner Tracy Yusko said the renovations will address stormwater and flooding issues, replace rusted fencing and satisfy complaints by residents on Piedmont regarding debris and flooding. Phase 2 will also add an ADA restroom to bring the park up to code.
Commissioners also approved:
- A motion presented by Commissioner Russell Saula to purchase gas masks and cartridges for the police department, not to exceed $5,000.
- A motion to adopt a resolution opposing H.R. 291, the statewide collection process for the local earned income tax. “The state is trying to set up an agency to collect our earned income tax but in the process of doing that, they're going to charge us two to three times the amount we're paying now, and that’s not going to do us any good,” Bivens said.
- Payments in the amount of $2,394.63 to West Wilmerding Volunteer Fire Co. and $1,602.34 for Crestas Volunteer Fire Co. from the 2018 Fire Tax Money.
- A motion to authorize the solicitor to prepare and the manager to advertise an ordinance setting fees for subdivision, land development and engineering reviews.
- A motion to hire Samuel Gates Jr. as a dispatcher trainee at a rate of $13.60 per hour and to accept the resignation of Jeff Zamosky, effective Feb. 5, and process any benefits due Zamosky under the collective bargaining agreement.
Richard Finch Jr. is a freelance writer who covers news from McKeesport Area School District and North Versailles Twp. for Tube City Almanac. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published February 27, 2019.