Bor­ough faces big en­gi­neer­ing fees

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Mar­cella Peyre-Ferry

OX­FORD >> The bor­ough could be fac­ing $50,000 in en­gi­neer­ing fees next year to pre­pare to meet MS4 (Mu­nic­i­pal Sep­a­rate Storm Sewer Sys­tem) re­quire­ments.

Se­nior en­gi­neer Kurt Morey of SSM Group Inc., the bor­ough’s con­tracted en­gi­neer­ing firm, was at the Oct. 17 coun­cil meet­ing to out­line the first steps that need to be taken be­fore the 2018 MS4 Per­mit date is met.

The MS4 pro­gram — ad­min­is­tered by the Pennsylvania Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion (DEP) and the U.S. En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency (EPA) — ad­dress­ing pol­lu­tion is­sues is re­quired of mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties as they reach cer­tain pop­u­la­tion lev­els. It re­quires pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion and out­reach, pub­lic in­volve­ment, discharge de­tec­tion and elim­i­na­tion, storm wa­ter con­trol on con­struc­tion sites and af­ter con­struc­tion, and pol­lu­tion pre­ven­tion.

The bor­ough has to pre­pare a plan of how they will meet those fac­tors and pro­duce a pol­lu­tion re­duc­tion plan for re­duc­ing sed­i­ments in storm wa­ter by 10 per­cent over the five-year term of the per­mit. The first tar­get date to have ev­ery­thing in line for the 2018 per­mit is Au­gust 2017.

Once the per­mit is ap­proved, the bor­ough will have to fol­low its plan to re­duce pol­lu­tion in some way. Pos­si­bil­i­ties could in­clude re­mov­ing im­per­vi­ous ar­eas, stream wa­ter restora­tion projects, retrofitting de­ten­tion basins or in­creased street sweep­ing.

“Whether we like it or not, it’s here and we have to do it,” Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Ron Her­shey said.

In other busi­ness, coun­cil voted to accept the res­ig­na­tion of Ge­off Henry from the plan­ning com­mis­sion and the Ox­ford Area Recre­ation Au­thor­ity ef­fec­tive Dec. 1.

Henry serves as chair­man on both boards. His term would have con­tin­ued un­til the end of 2017 on each board.

”Af­ter five plus years on both boards, I just thought it was time for me to move on. It had noth­ing to do with any­thing that is go­ing on in the bor­ough. The time is right in my life that I need to start scal­ing back on some of the ex­tra things I’m do­ing,” Henry said. “I did en­joy the time with the recre­ation au­thor­ity and the plan­ning com­mis­sion. I wish them both good for­tune in the years to come.”

Al­though he is leav­ing these board po­si­tions, Henry re­mains in his po­si­tion as Ox­ford’s Mayor, with his term ex­pir­ing at the end of next year. “As of right now, my plan is not to run again. A lot can hap­pen be­tween now, and the fil­ing day in Fe­bru­ary,” he said.

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