School direc­tors want to be out of sewer busi­ness

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

The Avon Grove School Dis­trict wants to be out of the sewer busi­ness. Dur­ing their Oct. 27 meet­ing, school board mem­bers voted unan­i­mously 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 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 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.

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