Board of Supervisors Says ‘No’ to Sewer Project Exemption

The Upper Milford Board of Supervisors voted at its July 5 meeting to deny Ralph Christman’s request to opt out of the Vera Cruz Sewer Project.

For Ralph Christman, it seems two strikes means he’s out. At least as far as his recent request to opt out of the Vera Cruz Sewer Project is concerned.

In a 2-0 vote Thursday night, the Upper Milford Board of Supervisors denied Christman’s request for an exemption from the ongoing Vera Cruz Sewer Project. Supervisor George DeVault abstained from the decision.

Before making the motion to deny Christman’s exemption, Supervisor Robert Sentner said: “Whether we like it or not, we need to abide by the ordinance that we set. I feel for you Mr. Christman, I really do, but our hands are kind of tied.”

Supervisors’ Chair Daniel Mohr said: “I only wish he had come in at the beginning. (With the project already underway) there are people who would have been in the same situation that you are in now who are already hooked up to the sewer.

Township solicitor Marc Fisher confirmed that those properties required to hook up to the sewer are determined at the state level by Upper Milford’s status as a second-class township. “The state legislature makes the law as to who has to hook up in a second-class township,” Fisher said.

Ultimately, Sentner ended the discussion on Christman’s situation stating: “I will make the sad motion to deny Mr. Christman’s request.”

Supervisor George DeVault, who lives in Milestone Area III of the Vera Cruz project and finds himself in a similar situation to Christman, abstained from the vote. “It’s not fair, it’s wrong, and it needs to be better. I can’t vote for it (the exemption) because I would want one too,” DeVault said.

Christman, who lives at 3311 Main Road East, first approached of the ongoing at the board’s June 7 meeting. At that time, Christman told the board he was seeking the exemption because his house sits more than 500 feet from the road and his 11-acre property has a fully functional and relatively new sand mound.

Rob Hamill July 10, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Another example of government bureaucraps forcing unwanted taxes onto its citizens for no reason other than, they can. Evil is propagated by gobment workers saying, "Just doing my job." And ordinary citizens are steamrolled by Lehigh County Authority again and again. The sewer system in Vera Cruz is set up through complicated pumps everywhere, so when the power fails for a couple of days, the residents will have shit flowing into their houses non stop. Typical LCA project.
Robert Sentner July 10, 2012 at 03:38 PM
Rob, I usually agree with your posts, but I am going to have to disagree with you on this one, once the project is finished we will see how many systems were actually failing or malfunctioning and I bet it will be around 75% or better. This sewer system has been in the pipeline ( no pun intended ) for decades because of the failing small lot septic systems. The Second Class Township code is very specific on what we can and can't do. I myself as a Supervisor on the board agree that some of the properties should have been allowed to be exempted. My question to you Rob is what was the alternative ???
Carl Stevenson July 10, 2012 at 03:54 PM
You should have fought for the people you're supposed to represent. Local govt should seek to protect its citizens from tyranny, not point upwards and say "THEY made us do it.". (and state govt should stand to tyranny from the fed govt)
Carl Stevenson July 10, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Rob, I agree with you. I'm disappointed that George abstained. He should have fought for the freedom and property rights of his constituents (not JUST Mr. Christman .... I'm sure many others are being forced to hook up and to destroy perfectly functional septic systems, thereby becoming dependent on electrical power for sanitation (and not incidtwlly, dependent on govt bureaucrats) Had I won the election rather than George I would have fought this project with its high costs, inflexibility, dependence on electrical power, etc. To force people who have NO need to hook up is tyranny, but that's the point ... To take more control.
Robert Sentner July 10, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Mr. Stevenson, I fight for whats best for the residents as a whole, and this is a project that needed to be done for our community. Because that is what Upper Milford Township is "a Community".
Rob Hamill July 10, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Dear Robert, Sand mounds would have solved the problem at 1% of the cost. Now that LCA has their foot in the door, developers will be the recipients of the sewer system payers forced slavery. You will see big development projects come to the table that LCA will gleefully "serve" with sewer. Your little hamlet will be unrecognizable in 10 years. Sorry, but look at what LCA did to Lower Macungie. he sewer was simply a tax on regular people to fund big developers!!@#$@#!
Diane Krier July 10, 2012 at 05:09 PM
I am sadden that Mr. DeVault did not stand up and vote and back Mr. Christman.. Why should one have to agree to what the Township wanted if his system was recently repaired/updated...the stipulations on this should of been made better for situations like this....I personally think this project should never have been placed.. allot of elderly people who have owned their homes a very long time and are getting hit with not only taxes raising every year and this added expense yet all on an monthly income...Yet some complain to the township now for 2 yrs about a deep hole on the shoulder of the road to be fix before it turns into a sinkhole and they do nothing.....
wanda fatzinger July 10, 2012 at 05:13 PM
So, in addition to the public sewer, how long does anyone think it will take for the residents to be forced to take public water too??
Robert Sentner July 10, 2012 at 10:27 PM
1% of the cost, really what do you think a soundmound cost? And where do you think most of these people are going to put one? Some of the properties are smaller than the size of the sand mound. No big Development coming the EDU's are pretty much spoken for, also Our zoning restrictions are for maintaining the rural settings of Upper Milford and have been that way for years. So I don't see anyone developing Vera Cruz in my lifetime. Now Lower Macungie is a different story.
tamarya July 10, 2012 at 11:02 PM
May never happen wanda, lehigh township went to public water but never hooked to sewere, they still have the septic systems 20 yrs later. Now for here where I am in longswamp hoping they switch to public water because we have alot of treating and need a 5,000 plus filter system on our well because of extremely high iron.
Carl Stevenson July 10, 2012 at 11:38 PM
The "community" or the "collective"? How does forcing people who have no need to hook up to spend thousands for an unnecessary "service" benefit the community??? Again, this is all about making people dependent on govt ( and to pay what's ALWAYS an increasing amount TO govt for "services" that are of dubious value at best.
Carl Stevenson July 10, 2012 at 11:48 PM
I'm surprised they didn't put water lines in with the sewer. Now they'll have to tear up the roads again to put in water when they decide they meet to fluoridate us to make us mor passive and complianit subjects .... But what do they care? After all, they'll just make us pay for that, too. (Guess again, I have 12 acres with a good well, a perfectly fine septic system, and I will NOT hook up to their system if they try to expand it into my area (which I expect they will try to do in the future.)


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