St. Clair Township’s stinky mess

When the sewer backs up and floods your basement, you get out the wet vac, the mop and a lot of bleach. We fear St. Clair Township residents will also need a whole lot of money to clean up their current sewer bill mess.

Township leaders negotiated a bad deal that makes their constituents pay 1.3 times more than Swansea residents for the same sewer service. Plus residents now pay a $7.34 monthly “transport fee” that goes to the township — not Swansea — for sewer line maintenance. Oh, and the township already collected $727,000 for that purpose and has about $4 million sitting there — $1 million of which they just socked away into CDs.

So chasing the bad deal, they are studying taking back 1,500 to 2,000 customers by reactivating sewer equipment that has been dormant for about 25 years? It’s hard to imagine anything but brown geysers erupting regardless of how much they study the system in advance. And the legal question of whether the township is violating their agreement with Swansea by taking back about half of the customer base is lurking out there.

There’s already a township resident lawsuit against Swansea. Might as well add a Swansea lawsuit against the township to the mix.

Instead of studying outdated equipment, shouldn’t township leaders take a look at cutting or eliminating the $7.34 fee? Can’t $4 million in reserves either flow back to taxpayers or generate enough investment income to pay for a lot of maintenance. Shouldn’t township leaders get back to the negotiating table with Swansea?

Don’t expect these troubles to go down the drain.