Salisbury Press

Saturday, March 28, 2020
PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL WILLISTEIN Dr. Michael Sinclair asks Salisbury Township commissioners to oppose City of Allentown water, sewer system privatization. PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL WILLISTEIN Dr. Michael Sinclair asks Salisbury Township commissioners to oppose City of Allentown water, sewer system privatization.
PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL WILLISTEIN Salisbury Township Manager Randy Soriano, left, and Township Solicitor Atty. John W. Ashley, right, are reviewing the township water contract with City of Allentown. PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL WILLISTEIN Salisbury Township Manager Randy Soriano, left, and Township Solicitor Atty. John W. Ashley, right, are reviewing the township water contract with City of Allentown.
Salisbury Township Commissioner Joanne Ackerman, right, is concerned about township's water pact with Allentown. Seated at left is township Commissioner James Seagreaves. Salisbury Township Commissioner Joanne Ackerman, right, is concerned about township's water pact with Allentown. Seated at left is township Commissioner James Seagreaves.

SALISBURY TOWNSHIP BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN pwillistein@tnonline.com in Local News

Vote to oppose city water, sewer sale again rejected after resident's plea

A plea to take a stance on the privitization of the City of Allentown water and sewer system has again been rejected by the Salisbury Township Board of Commissioners.

However, township officials may take a second look.

"I would like the commissioners to voice some kind of opposition to the Allentown water and sewer plan," Dr. Michael Sinclair, a heart surgeon who lives in Salisbury Township, said during the public comment portion of the March 14 township meeting in the Municipal Building.

"I realize it doesn't carry any weight," Sinclair added, noting opposition to the sale from other municipalities.

Officials in the Borough of Macungie and Whitehall Township have gone on the record as opposing the Allentown water and sewer systems sale or lease.

A portion of Salisbury utilizes Allentown water. The township buys water from the Allentown Water Authority and resells it to township residents.

Salisbury has a similar setup and agreement with the Bethlehem Water Authority for many east side residents of the township.

Sinclair said, "It's Allentown's problem, but it can affect others."

Allentown wants to raise $150 million to $200 million to offset costs of the city's employee pension funds.

Several private companies and the Lehigh County Authority may bid on buying or leasing the city's water and sewer systems.

"I think it would be good for you to contact Allentown and find out what this means," Township Commissioner Joanne Ackerman said to Township Manager Randy Soriano. "We can't go anywhere else for water," she said.

"We have an agreement that lasts forever," Atty. John W. Ashley, township solicitor, said of the township's agreement to purchase water from Allentown. "They would have to go to court to overturn it."

"We are not immune to rate increases," Soriano said.

"I would like for you to check into the situation so we know where we stand," Ackerman said to Soriano.

"We will," Soriano said, referring to himself and Ashley, who will review the township contract for Allentown water.

Ackerman said she is also concerned with maintaining the level of quality of water purchased by the township from Allentown.

Last month, the BOC refused to oppose the Allentown water and sewer systems lease or sale following a plea from Dan Poresky, a leading advocate to put the issue on the ballot, at the Feb. 14 township meeting.

Township commissioners next meet 7 p.m. April 11.