Mt. Pleasant holds meeting on Act 13 funds

Mt. Pleasant Township held a public meeting Wednesday to take suggestions from the public as to how to spend funds received as a result of the state’s Act 13 program. The session was held prior to the monthly board of supervisors’ meeting.

Pennsylvania’s Act 13 directs funds collected from energy companies operating hydraulically fractured natural gas wells to local municipalities hosting the well pads. Under the program, Mt. Pleasant was allotted $511,442 in tax revenues collected in 2012.

About 20 residents attended the meeting, offering suggestions on a wide array of projects.

Members of the Mt. Pleasant Municipal Authority asked the township to help with funding for an ambitious sewage project the Department of Environmental Protection was mandating. Engineer David E. MacIntyre explained the authority was looking at two separate options: sending sewage along Route 18 to the Washington/East Washington authority, or building a plant or series of plants in or near the township.

The new sewage line would serve roughly 500 homes at an estimated cost of $14 million. In order to reduce the amount of costs to consumers, authority officials suggested allotting a certain percentage toward paying off any debt that would be incurred in the undertaking.

Also during the meeting, residents suggested the township improve or add lighting on roads and improve road surfaces. Calls were made to donate money to the senior center and fire department, or to fund additional safety equipment for emergency personnel who would respond to natural gas-related accidents.

Resident Sally Brown Pawlosky suggested the township use a portion of the funds in order to reduce property taxes for those who owned homes in the municipality.

After listening to comments, supervisors thanked the crowd and told them they would take their suggestions into consideration and make their decision at an upcoming meeting.

During the regular board meeting, supervisors approved two new officers for duty with the Mt. Pleasant Police Department. Brad Resnick will be a full-time officer while Amanda Brewer will be serving as a part-time officer.

The community center also was given approval to spend $5,652 on roof repairs. Supervisors said the funds would be paid by the community center and will not come out of township funds.


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