UPPER SAUCON – The Upper Saucon Township Board of Supervisors met at the Township Municipal Building on Oct. 18 at 6 p.m.
Chairman Miro Gutzmirtl, Vice-Chairman Stephen Wagner, and Supervisors Jack DeMatos, Joseph Horvath, and John Gilda, Jr. attended along with Township Manager Thomas Beil, Director of Finance Robert Kassel, Jr., Township Solicitor Jeffery Dimmich, and Township Engineer Dennis Harman.
The board unanimously approved a sewage planning module for the Herbert property at 3033 Teakwood Drive. According to Sewage Enforcement Officer Edward Powell and Reading-based sewage consultant Carl D’Amico, the Herbert property has been plagued with drainage problems since the soil there was first tested in 1988. Gilda asked if the lot should have been approved in the first place. Powell informed the board that the developer and township got into a lawsuit over that very issue decades ago.
According to Powell, in 1988 the Herbert property was the dumping ground of excess construction materials from a new subdivision on Teakwood Drive. Contractor Robert Frick bought the lot at discount, and used “less-than-ethical” methods to try to make a profit off the property. As a result of driving heavy machinery over already-thin ground, the soil became compacted and unable to properly accommodate normal sewage disposal.
Consequently, said Powell, “everything went wrong that could go wrong.” Herbert said he saw problems with the septic system within six months of moving in. According to him and Powell, Frick did not properly repair the problems, and again tried to cut costs unethically. After dismissing Frick and bringing in D’Amico, whom Powell said is a relative expert in such problems, Herbert had an alternative system installed. After one year of use, that system failed. Powell and D’Amico have worked with the state Department of Environmental Protection for 2-3 years trying to devise a solution for the Herbert property. They and Herbert went before the board to seek approval of a final, last-ditch solution to the problem which would allow discharge to go into a nearby stream at state-approved levels. DEP will review the plan before final approval. Powell said that the sewage problem has nearly bankrupted Herbert. “I hope you do see that light at the end of the tunnel,” said Gutzmirtl. “It’s sad.”
In other news, Chairman Gutzmirtl reported that he had attended the Penn State open house to welcome its chancellor on behalf of the township. Joking, Gutzmirtl said he was only able to get one mug at the open house, so he would sip coffee from it in honor of the rest of the board.
The board unanimously approved the appointment of Kathryn Anthony to the Southern Lehigh Public Library Board of Directors. She will serve the remainder of the term begun by Vice-Chairman Stephen Wagner, which expires on June 30, 2013.
Supervisors discussed having a representative at the Officer David M. Petzold Memorial Foundation’s “Beyond the Badge” gala scheduled to be held on Nov. 13. Wagner may attend.
The next Upper Saucon Township Board of Supervisors meeting is scheduled to be held at the Township Municipal Building at 6 p.m. on Nov. 1. According to Beil, it may be cancelled for lack of business.