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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Aqua pulls out of water project

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    HONESDALE - Aqua Pennsylvania will not perform water work in the borough this year, said Steve Clark, the company's northeast area manager.
    "We're pulling the project for 2014," he said Monday, adding that they will revisit the project within in five years.
    Several factors played into Aqua's pullout, including permit issues with PennDOT, which rejected the water company's last application citing 16 issues that needed to be addressed.
    Another sticking point had to to with design issues for ramps that would have to be in compliance with the American's with Disabilities Act.
    The timing also was a concern for Aqua because it had hoped to have temporary paving completed by the fall, but now that will not happen.
    "At this point there's no way to meet the next deadline," Clark said Monday.
    Aqua's proposed project consisted of water line work on Main Street between 4th and 12th streets.
    Regarding the ADA ramps, Clark said 22 would need to be designed and could cost between $7,000 and $20,000 per ramp.
    "There's way too much design," he said.
    Clark said Honesdale does not have water quality issues, even though the mains are very old.
    Another issue, Clark said, was the mid-block crosswalk between 8th and 9th streets that leads to the U.S. Postal Service.
    The borough council wants to keep the crosswalk, but there has been issues regarding if it is legal and who would accept liability for it, Clark said.
    The borough's engineer has been looking into the status of the mid-block crosswalk, said Councilman James Brennan
    Aqua also said it had hoped to share the Main Street work costs with UGI Penn Natural Gas, which this past spring completed line work on Main Street.
    Page 2 of 2 - The timing wasn't right, though. "It's unfortunate it didn't work out," Clark said.
    PennDOT expects UGI to do the overlay of Main Street, according to a source.
    Clark said Aqua has notified UGI and PennDOT of its plans to push back the water project.
    Gail Tucker, executive director of the Greater Honesdale Partnership, said that while the water work needs to be done she is relieved that Main Street can get a breather from all the construction work that has been taking place since the winter.
    In a previous release the water company said, “Aqua is committed to making ongoing, prudent investments to update and improve our infrastructure so that we can continue to provide our customers with quality water and wastewater services. We have seen first-hand how this investment is helping to increase service reliability."

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