District votes to sell wastewater plant
PENN >> The Avon Grove School District wants to be out of the sewer business.
The school board voted unanimously on Oct. 27 to enter into a purchase agreement with Aqua Pennsylvania Wastewater, Inc., for the sale of the district’s wastewater treatment plant and the easement related to it.
Settlement on the property will not take place until June, and exact financial terms of the contract were not disclosed at this time. What is clear is that Aqua will be taking over the management and operation of the treatment plant for the next eight months until the completion of the sale and transfer.
In early 2015, the school board sought proposals to purchase the treatment plant, but only Aqua showed interest in the facility. The motivation to sell has been strengthened by the fact that the plant does not meet current Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) standards and would need extensive modifications to come into compliance.
“The district has been out of compliance since before this current administration,” district Business Manager Dan Carsley said during the school board meeting. “Our liability should cease at closing.”
When the sale occurs, it is possible that DEP could assess fines against the district for the time the district has been in violation, but at this point, that is unclear.
“We are still going to be responsible for any fines. We don’t know what those fines might be or if there will be any,” school board member Brian Gaerity said.
Once the sale is completed, the district will be paying Aqua for sewer service. There is potential for Aqua to not only meet the needs of the schools, but to expand to serve other customers in the area.
Further information will be disclosed once contracts are completed by both sides of the deal.