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Chester County Press

Uncle Irvin: OASA Implosion Part II

08/16/2016 01:12PM ● By Richard Gaw
Following up last week's column on the financial abyss called the Oxford Area Sewer Authority (OASA) is the strange absence of an Oxford resident named Spence Andress.
Andress is a highly intelligent, successful engineering executive who served as President of Oxford Borough Council just prior to the founding of the OASA. Andress became enamored with the problems local government had with environmental issues overseen by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), to the extent that he put off founding his own consulting business and resigned from his high-powered, high-salary job in mid-career.
Andress instantly made a name for himself by sorting out a dispute between Kennett Borough and New Garden Township over the construction and running of a sewer approved for the New Garden Shopping Center on Baltimore Pike and Scarlett Road,  which successfully launched the New Garden Sewer Authority.
Every supervisor and borough councilman in the Oxford area knew Spence Andress and knew about his expertise in environmental matters, and yet Andress, who still lives in Oxford, was never consulted by the township and borough in set up or operation of the OASA.
Andress ended a highly successful 20-year practice of local environmental consulting with a stint as New Garden Township's manager. He also developed a good working relationship with DEP officials who had to approve or disapprove every aspect of Oxford's solid waste disposal system.
Lack of DEP approval held up the construction of the enlarged sewer facility, causing a 10-year building moratorium, all because of OASA's inability to get DEP plan approval.
Uncle Irvin does not known why the smartest, most savvy environmental consultant, who lives in Oxford, was never hired from the beginning to steer this project to a successful conclusion, or why he was never consulted along the way while he was consulting with almost every municipality in southern Chester County.
Uncle Irvin has no doubt that Spence Andress could have gotten the OASA on a fast track, operating in the black, in less than half the time it has taken to its present state of virtual bankruptcy.
Once again, the elected officials of the township and the borough let stupidity or some petty jealousy stand in the way of their responsibilities.

(Uncle Irvin's column is his opinion only, and is not a news story.)

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