Le­high Twp. re­sort will cause waste­water needs

Deal reached to help growth of treat­ment plant

The Morning Call - - LOCAL NEWS - By Kevin Duffy

The de­vel­oper and town­ship are work­ing out how to ex­pand the Le­high Town­ship Mu­nic­i­pal Au­thor­ity’s wa­ter treat­ment plant to ac­com­mo­date the re­birth of the for­mer Mary Im­mac­u­late Cen­ter as a re­sort.

Dur­ing the town­ship su­per­vi­sors meet­ing Tues­day, both par­ties agreed to form a “work­ing com­mit­tee” com­prised of rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the au­thor­ity, the town­ship’s recre­ation com­mit­tee, and de­vel­oper David Jaindl to ar­rive at con­sen­sus.

Lo­cated on In­dian Trail Road in Pennsville, the plant will have to be ex­panded to han­dle waste­water from the fu­ture Le­high Val­ley Re­sort & Spa at 300 Cher­ryville Road as well as to pro­vide drink­ing wa­ter.

The plant needs a gen­er­a­tor and booster pump sta­tion at the time of the first phase of de­vel­op­ment of the re­sort, which in­cludes the re­pur­pos­ing of the sem­i­nary into an event cen­ter, res­tau­rant, and 206room ho­tel, with the for­mer con­vent con­verted into a spa.

That will re­quire carv­ing out 2 acres by a lot-line ad­just­ment between the plant and ad­ja­cent In­dian Trail Park to ac­com­mo­date the needed in­fras­truc­ture.

Pins will be laid out next week by the au­thor­ity de­lin­eat­ing where the lot-line ad­just­ment will be, au­thor­ity Chair­man Carl Sharpe said.

At­tor­ney Joseph Za­tor, rep­re­sent­ing Jaindl, asked su­per­vi­sors to con­sider con­vey­ing the land to the au­thor­ity, which would then lease it back to the town­ship for a dol­lar so it could con­tinue to be used for recre­ation un­til it is needed for the ex­pan­sion.

“When­ever that time comes, the in­fras­truc­ture project could move for­ward,” he said.

Chair­man Dar­ryl Snover said the plant ex­pan­sion has taken on “a life of its own” as Jaindl’s re­sort project has ad­vanced be­yond the pre­lim­i­nary land de­vel­op­ment ap­proval phase, which su­per­vi­sors signed off on last month.

He said he was in fa­vor of con­tin­u­ing us­ing the park in the in­terim.

Su­per­vi­sor Cindy Miller, how­ever, said she is wait­ing for “a com­plete cost anal­y­sis” for the project, and ques­tioned why they should agree to give land to the au­thor­ity.

She also voiced con­cern over the pos­si­bil­ity of the ex­panded plant fail­ing, and the risk to the town­ship should it do so.

Town­ship Solic­i­tor David Back­en­stoe cau­tioned that con­vey­ing the land would re­sult in the town­ship no longer hav­ing con­trol over what type of sys­tem is put in.

The con­veyance is nec­es­sary be­cause the au­thor­ity will have to demon­strate that it has a right to ex­pand over the 2 acres when it sub­mits its plan to the De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion, said Ed­ward An­dres, the au­thor­ity’s solic­i­tor.

In re­sponse to Miller, he said “a cost ben­e­fit anal­y­sis will have to wait un­til we get the de­sign ap­proved.”

The plant is de­signed to han­dle up to 60,000 gal­lons of waste­water per day and will need to in­crease that to 260,000 gal­lons un­der Jaindl’s de­sign, he said.

Jaindl has an agree­ment in place with Beth­le­hem to pro­vide potable wa­ter.

Kevin Duffy is a free­lance writer for The Morn­ing Call.

DONNA FISHER/THE MORN­ING CALL FILE PHOTO

De­vel­oper David Jaindl is plan­ning to “re­pur­pose” the va­cant Mary Im­mac­u­late Cen­ter in Le­high Town­ship.

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