The Lehigh County Authority approved contracts on Feb. 28 for the Vera Cruz public sewer project in Upper Milford Township. However, the LCA’s capital project authorization and contract approvals are contingent upon a March 3 decision by the Upper Milford supervisors.
On March 3, the supervisors will consider and decide whether to adopt a “mandatory connection ordinance” related to the $5 million Vera Cruz sewer project.
The contracts approved Feb. 28, contingent upon the supervisors vote, are as follows: PACT Construction Inc. of New Ringoes, N.J., general construction, $2.3 million; Environment One Corporation grinder pump supply and service, based in Niskayuna, N.Y., $755,865; and Spotts, Stevens and McCoy of Bethlehem, archeological study and construction engineering, $173,084.
According to LCA documents, the Second Class Township Code requires “all properties that are adjoining or adjacent to or whose principal building is within 150 feet from the sanitary sewer to connect.”
If the township supervisors approve the mandatory connection ordinance, construction is expected to begin in late March or early April and be completed by the spring of 2012. But it will come at a considerable expense for Vera Cruz property owners.
The vast majority of the properties in the area are single-family homes and the conversion from septic to sewer will cost those homeowners nearly $9,000.
The area also includes 18 multi-family residences and their up-front costs range from $9,311 to $14,976. Commercial properties’ up-front costs range from $9,307 to $16,855.
According to LCA documents, data from a “sewage disposal needs identification” conducted by the township sewage enforcement officer “indicated that on-site wastewater disposal systems of about 219 of the developed properties had some degree of malfunction.”
The proposed public sewer project would provide public wastewater service to about 278 Upper Milford properties in the Vera Cruz area. About 260 would be required to connect to the system, depending on the supervisors’ March 3 vote. The remaining 18 properties are vacant.