M A I NLI NE newspapers
Series of outstanding 422 project items reviewed by BVMA, engineer Vol. 100 No. 1
By Allie Byers
of Mainline Newspapers
The Blacklick Valley Municipal Authority (BVMA) discussed a series of issues that still exist after completing construction on the Route 422 east wastewater project with engineer Rich Wray and solicitor Bill Barbin at the Dec. 30 meeting. Problems with the variable frequency drives (VFDs) at the new pump station as well as the older pump stations, which were constructed in 2004, are ongoing. Two items were reviewed in regard to the VFDs and pump stations: the ability of the transducer and the pump controllers in the panel to communicate with the VFDs and software updates that are owed to the authority for the Vintondale and Twin Rocks pump stations. The Franklin Street pump station has had its software updated. “Mike [Pisarcik] and the crew had some issues with the pumps shutting down on Christmas Eve during a higher flow period and that caused a considerable amount of disruption in the operation of the system,” said Wray. He and Pisarcik have proposed holding a meeting with Biter Electric and Eaton officials to further review the problems the authority has sustained during the project. “Eaton needs to, I think, be presented with a complete picture of the efforts to date. In other words, what has been our experience with Franklin Street, the software updates, the installation with the drives,” said Wray. “We have the issue with the pump that was rebuilt at Eaton’s recommendation and direction.” The BVMA has had costs associated with the pump rebuilding, though it was not the problem. The BVMA says it needs to hold a conversation with Eaton to assess their position on the costs and efforts incurred by the authority. “I believe it’s going to be a legal matter in the end,” said Pisarcik, who wanted to catch Barbin up on the VFD issue. According to Pisarcik, back in July of 2020 Franklin Street’s number one pump was “constantly going down.” He said that Biter Electric stated it was an issue with the pump. The pump company was contacted to check the pump. “They come down, checked all the power sources on that pump and said, ‘Mike, there’s nothing wrong with that pump as far as electrical,’” Pisarcik said. “They believe it’s in the software, the VFDs.” However, an Eaton technician looked at the pump again and insisted it was a pump problem causing
Nanty Glo, Pa.
Thursday, January 7, 2021
the overheating. Once again, Pisarcik contacted the pump company and was told that the pump can be taken out, but its representative felt the pump was not the problem. “They took the pump out, probably took about three weeks before they got it back ... found nothing wrong with the pump,” Pisarcik explained. “[They] put the pump back in, it lasted I think about two minutes and it tripped again.” Pisarcik said that after the pump was reinstalled and it tripped, nothing was done after the other two companies were contacted. “There was a pretty long period of time that was going on, like three weeks, and nobody was doing anything,” said Pisarcik. Eventually, Pisarcik proved that the problem was with the VFD, so a conference call was held. “Once we discovered that it was the VFD, now all of a sudden we got to wait until this new tech comes in, the VFD needs to be programmed,” said Pisarcik. He added that the tech “jumpered” the fan system, which should resolve the problem. It worked for about one week, then went back down. Pisarcik wanted a brand new VFD installed to rectify the problem. “As soon as we started that idea, a new VFD, all of a sudden, they sent this tech in to reprogram [the VFD],” Pisarcik said. “He said that when those were built there was already a fault in them.” It took the technician about three hours to reprogram the VFD. The number two pump was also reprogrammed. Since the number one pump’s VFD was reprogrammed it has worked. The other pumps in the BVMA’s system also need reprogrammed, but it hasn’t been done yet. “My next move is this, this is what I want, I’m getting all the bills together that we incurred in this, I want a meeting with Biter, the engineering, the authority and Eaton,” said Pisarcik. “Before that meeting takes place, I want the agenda sent over to them telling them that we’re going to be requesting this money, we need an answer at this meeting.” Moving on to paving concerns, Wray stated that on Nov. 27 he measured road widths because the Blacklick Township Supervisors felt that some areas were not paved to what they were pre-construction. He found that there were areas that were paved as wide as they should be. To assess the overall cost for what needs repaired, Wray is going to conduct a “PennDOT
Jackson Township Supervisors reorganize positions for 2021
By Allie Byers
of Mainline Newspapers
The Jackson Township Supervisors held their annual reorganization meeting Monday, Jan. 4 at 7:30 a.m. Each year, the meeting is held to appoint or reappoint individuals to township boards as well as other housekeeping items. Townships are required to reorganize every year. At the short meeting, supervisors Bruce Baker, Eric Dreikorn and John Wallet unanimously approved 31 motions for 2021. These motions included that Baker serve once again as the chairman and Wallet as the vicechairman. The supervisors will
also take on the job of roadmasters. Dave Hirko has been reappointed to his position as secretary and treasurer. He is also the driveway and street encroachment officer. William G. Barbin and the law firm of Gleason, Barbin & Markovitz and Calvin J. Webb and the law firm of Smorto, Persio, Webb & McGill will serve as the township solicitor and the zoning hearing board solicitor, respectively. Keller Engineers Inc. will once again be the township engineer. With a motion made by Wallet and seconded by Dreikorn, Phil Vaught will work as the officerin-charge of the Jackson Township Police Department. As far as township boards, Don Knopsnyder has been appointed to a four-year term with the planning commission and Terri Modic was appointed to a five-year term with the Jackson Township Water Authority. Moving on to reappointments,
SEE PROJECT, PAGE 2
Rick Fetzer will serve another three-year term on the zoning hearing board, the Jackson/East Taylor Sewer Authority (JETSA) will have Don Ochenrider for another five-year term and Peggy Parks of Four Seasons Sewage Enforcement LLC is the sewage enforcement officer. The Middle Department Inspection Agency (MDIA) and the CambriaSomerset COG Regional Code Agency were reappointed as the building codes enforcement officers. The supervisors’ meetings will be held the second Thursday of each month at 7:30 a.m. and the last Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. However, there will be no meeting Jan. 14 at 7:30 a.m. Due to conflicts with the holiday season, the Nov. 25 meeting will be moved to Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. and the Dec. 30 meeting will be moved to Dec. 23 at 6 p.m. All meetings are held at the Jackson Township Municipal Building at 513 Pike Road.
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Practice makes perfect
With safety precautions in place, sisters Madeline and Mackenzie Kinter attend junior high basketball open gym at Blacklick Valley this week. Photo by Allie Byers.
Jackson Water Authority buys out new employee contracts
Board approves filing property lien due to high bill
By Allie Byers
of Mainline Newspapers
At the Dec. 22 Jackson Township Water Authority meeting, board member Bill Grubb broached the subject of buying out the two new office workers’, Melanie Bender and Sherry Rummell, contracts from WorkLink Staffing. “It’s kind of a no-brainer,” said Grubb. Both Bender and Rummell were hired through WorkLink after searching for an office manager and part-time secretary. Grubb made a motion to buy out the contracts effective Dec. 28. Robb Piper seconded the motion. “They’ll be hired as our employees then,” said Piper. Bender will be a full-time employee as the office manager and Rummell as a part-time worker at 20 hours per week. Piper added that since both workers will be water authority employees, they will need to sign their job descriptions. “You’d just be subject to our employee policy book,” Piper said to Bender, who was in attendance of the meeting. Grubb stated that he is “very, very comfortable” with the two hires. “I think that we have a way forward in more ways than one,” he said. According to Grubb, Rummell has over 30 years of office experience and is teaching him quite a bit when it comes to setting up
successful offices. “We have a real opportunity with the two people we have here now to really make some dynamic changes,” he said. The December meeting was Bender’s first official meeting. “Sherry and I, we get along very well, we complement each other,” said Bender. “We will be very successful in making this office more efficient.” In other matters, Grubb brought up about wanting to place a lien on a property owner who owes approximately $4,000 in back bills. “They don’t have service, but they’re close enough they should have been hooked up,” Grubb said. Foreman Fred Meier wanted to talk with solicitor C.J. Webb about what it takes to file a lien and how much it will cost. “What’s the position of the person who owes that much money, have they been contacted?” questioned board member John Wallet. “You gotta talk to them.” Meier said that the owner does receive a monthly bill. Wallet stated a lien can be filed, but Webb should be contacted before the board makes a decision. Piper made a motion to file a lien against the property. Grubb seconded the motion. Wallet voted against filing the lien stating that Webb should be contacted first. The motion passed with a three to one vote.