East Nottingham supervisor says he could see Oxford Area Sewer Authority continuing as separate entity
By Steven Hoffman
During the township meeting on Aug. 13, East Nottingham Township supervisor Sam Goodley provided an update about the ongoing efforts by the Oxford Area Sewer Authority to sell its assets.
After more than a year of negotiations, the Oxford Area Sewer Authority was close to selling all its assets, including a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment system, to DELCORA, a Delaware County-based municipal authority. But that potential sale was put on hold last month when it was announced that DELCORA was entering merger talks with Aqua America, a large, for-profit water utility.
There are serious concerns about selling to DELCORA if that entity is to be purchased by a privately owned company because large water corporations are accountable to stockholders, not local residents who are paying the water and sewer rates. If DELCORA is bought up by Aqua America, it could mean that the Oxford Area Sewer Authority does not end up selling off its assets to DELCORA.
“We kind of put things on hold,” Goodley said. “We don’t want the Oxford Area Sewer Authority to be sold to a private, for-profit company.”
Goodley, who serves as one of the township’s representatives on the Oxford Area Sewer Authority Board, explained that the Oxford Area Sewer Authority made repeated attempts during the negotiation process to get assurances from DELCORA officials that they were not planning to sell out to a for-profit entity. DELCORA officials refused those requests.
Goodley told his colleagues on the East Nottingham Township Board -- Joe Herlihy, Art Rieck, Bill Weaver, and John Wallace -- that he would not be surprised if the Oxford Area Sewer Authority continues to function as a separate entity.
The Oxford Area Sewer Authority is led by a board comprised of representatives from the four member municipalities -- East Nottingham Township, Lower Oxford Township, West Nottingham Township, and Oxford Borough.
In other business in East Nottingham Township:
~ The Chester County Food Bank has apparently abandoned its plans to open a 40,000-square-foot facility on a property on Hickory Hill Road in East Nottingham Township. The organization, which distributes about three million pounds of food annually to Chester County residents in need, withdrew its conditional-use application before a special hearing could take place last month.
~ East Nottingham Township is developing policies for its social media platforms. Township secretary Kelli Karlton has taken the lead in managing the township’s Facebook page. A policy outlining what items should be posted by township secretary and what items should be reviewed by supervisors before they are posted would help guide township officials in the future. Karlton will be working with the township solicitor on developing the policy.
~ The supervisors authorized an upgrade to the security system for the township building. This has been an ongoing effort for East Nottingham.
~ Township officials are planning the annual Fall Dumpster Days event where township residents can drop off items (not tires) that they are looking to get rid of. The Dumpster Days will take place on Friday, Oct. 11 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 12 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
~ Karlton announced that the township has already arranged a visit by Santa Claus so that children in the community can have their pictures taken with him when East Nottingham Township holds its Christmas celebration on Friday, Dec. 13 from 6 to 8 p.m.
The East Nottingham Township Board of Supervisors will meet next on Tuesday, Sept. 10.