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Vera Cruz man Seeks Sewer Project Exemption

Ralph Christman, of Main Road East, asks Upper Milford Board of Supervisors at last week’s meeting, if he can opt out of Vera Cruz Sewer Project.

A Vera Cruz man came before the at the June 7 supervisors’ meeting to ask the board to allow him to opt out of the ongoing .

Ralph Christman, of Main Road East, approached the board to request 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 – a system Christman reminded the supervisors that the township had mandated that he install.

In order to connect to the sewer, Christman said, he would need to dig under a lengthy, paved driveway, which translates into a significant expense.

“One shoe, one glove doesn’t fit everybody,” Christman said. “It seems like common sense should prevail here.”

Supervisor George DeVault, whose home is also part of the Vera Cruz Sewer Project, said his situation is similar to Christman’s.

“I genuinely feel your pain,” DeVault said. “Our home sits 600 feet back from the road and we have a working sand mound. The thought of flushing all of that money down the drain doesn’t thrill me.”

DeVault also brought up a compromise proposal he had presented to the board before he was elected supervisor which would have allowed owners with operational septic systems to pay the tapping fee and put in the lateral without being forced to hook into the public sewer system.

“If and when their septic system fails,” DeVault said, “then they must hook in. LCA (Lehigh County Authority) will have its money, which is all they want.

“He’s right, one size does not fit all and we are not part of the problem,” he said.

In response to a question from Board of Supervisors Chair Daniel Mohr, Township Planning Coordinator Brian Miller said that very few completely working septic systems have been destroyed during the Vera Cruz project, with about half of the homes in the project area connected to date.

Township Solicitor Marc Fisher said that the sewer ordinance needs to be enforced consistently or the township could open itself up to legal issues.

Supervisor Robert Sentner told Christman that the supervisors would look into the matter and encouraged him to attend the next supervisors meeting.

Renea June 14, 2012 at 01:36 PM
I urge the Supervisors to think long and hard before allowing exemptions or deferments at this point of the project. MANY residents had functioning systems and were not given the choice to defer connection.
Tom Schilling June 14, 2012 at 08:17 PM
so Renea, Mr. Christman's 11 acres with perfectly operational septic system that is 600 feet from the road, that is much farther than the 150 feet that is mandated to be done within that distance from the road, should have to hook up to a system that really has no proven success vs. a system that is working better than most other systems in upper milford township, should just destroy a system that the township mandated for him to install just a few years prior, with a perfect success rate. sounds to me like big brother is twisting some arms. sounds unAmerican to me! Renea, are you just trying to get everyone else hooked up because you had to?

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