New regs: Dam owners must pay or drain

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  • Small private dams are now subject to an $800 annual fee.



By Jerry Goldberg
— New state regulations call for dam owners to pay an annual fee up to $800, according to PA Rep. Rosemary Brown (R-189th District), who appeared recently before the Alliance of Community Associations.

Any dam owner who fails to pay the fee by July — including homeowners associations, like the 21 members of the Alliance — will be required to drain its lake up to one foot per day, Brown said. The money from fees will go into a Clear Water Fund (which is different from the current Clear Water Stream Fund account programs).

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection also requires communities to post substantial bonds in case they go bankrupt and their dams have to be breached.

The president of the Alliance, John Crerand, alerted Dingman supervisors that the state has notified Conashaugh and other private communities of the new fee.

In a letter to the supervisors, Crerands said he believes the state is just creating a “piggy bank” to solve its money problems. Lake community residents already have to pay for boat and fishing licenses, water testing, lake management, and lake maintenance.

Crerand says Conashaugh has 911 lots of which 562 are developed, 311 undeveloped, and 38 community-owned so that no dues are collected for them.

Private communities have been the heart and soul of Northeast Pennsylvania for a long time, he said.

“The new codes and fees place a heavy burden on private residential lot owners with no place to turn except our elected officials," Crerand said. "There are no grants or other sources of outside financial aid for private communities. With the current economy we really need your help.”

Dingman supervisors agreed to consider what help the township might provide.

In other business
Road materials and cable bids — Three companies — Dingmans Ferry Stone, Edwards Sand & Stone and Atkinson Materials — all submitted bids for road materials for 2014. All three companies left out the bid portion for 200 tons of 9.5mm Wearing Course as well as 10 Tons 19mm Binder Course. Supervisors agreed to table the bid offers for the moment. The Blue Ridge Cable Franchise Renewal bid was also tabled for further discussion.

Sewage report — The Lake Adventure Sewage Report for March included only two days in which the effluent exceeded the 160,000-gallons-per-day maximum allowable amount. The stream discharge for March 30 was 451,131 gallons and for March 31 it was 320,335 each day.

Emergency calls — The Dingman Township Fire Department reported 40 fire call incidents and 58 EMS calls. Fire calls were mostly brush fires, structure fires as well as training fires. The EMS incidents ranged from general illnesses, vehicle accidents, breathing problems, chest pains, falls, and strokes.

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