Utility Rate Increase – Effective April 1, 2022

Selinsgrove Borough Council met on March 21, 2022 to review utility rate increases proposed by the Borough Engineer.  The Finance Committee annually reviews the operating revenues and operating expenditures of each fund.  Borough Council has not raised utility costs over the last few years.  The last water rate increase was in 2010 and the last sewer rate increase was in 2016.  Due to unfunded mandates, the Covid-19 pandemic, and new certification requirements of the Department of Environmental Protection and the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, the Borough needs to adjust rates to cover these increased costs to continue to provide quality service and improve infrastructure.  Borough Council will need to continue to monitor costs going forward as inflation increases and infrastructure ages.

Please refer to the two attachments for more information on this utility rate increase which begins April 1, 2022.

Utility Rate Increase Letter

Utility Rate Increase Effective 4-1-2022

 

Initiative to Help Control the Feral Cat Population (It’s kitten season…)

Selinsgrove Borough and Cherished Cat Rescue Alliance (www.cherishedcats.org/tnr) have joined forces to control the feral (stray) cat population in the borough humanely. If you have a cat colony in your life/neighborhood and would like help to get them humanely trapped and neutered simply go to the Borough office and complete an application. That application will get scanned to the TNR (Trap~Neuter~Return) Coordinator who will be in touch about the details of the program and to lend traps and provide assistance if needed. The cats to be trapped MUST have a caretaker who feeds them regularly and provides them with shelter from severe weather conditions. Depending on what clinic/hospital you use the cost could be from FREE and up to $27 per cat and everywhere in between. This includes the spay/neuter, Rabies Vaccine, ear tip and flea meds. ALL CATS must come in a Humane (live) Traps. CCRA has some to lend out and you will be trained in their use. Cherished Cat Rescue Alliance is looking for people who are interested in getting involved with the TNR effort in our area. Visit their website to learn how you can be part of this very important and rewarding initiative or call Robin Montgomery at 570-374-0330 for more information.
Did You Know

TNR Application updated 2021.docx

Landlords/Renters: Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

Check out the website below to see if the Union-Snyder County Action Agency (USCAA) may be able to help you with financial help toward rent and utilities due to the impact of COVID-19.

https://www.union-snydercaa.org/erap

Applications can be completed at the state’s benefit website compass.state.pa.us or by printing the application to turn in at the USCAA building (with an appointment – call to schedule).

570-374-0181 ext. 604

If you plan to visit their office, it is best to call and schedule an appointment.

 

DEP Focus on Energy eNewsletter

FOCUS ON ENERGY eNewsletter
December 2021

Happy Holidays!  Enjoy a safe and happy New Year.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Funding is still available for the following DEP programs:

ARTICLES

PA Conservative Energy Forum Supports Solar Energy Development As Economic Driver And Benefit To Landowners

Millions Of Gallons Of Conventional Oil & Gas Wastewater Spread Illegally On Dirt Roads, Companies Fail To Comply With DEP Waste Regulations

The cost of this year’s 10 worst climate disasters: $170 billion

https://www.post-gazette.com/business/money/2021/12/28/climate-disaster-2021-cost-170-billion-dollars-10-worst-disasters/stories/202112280023

Sunbury Daily Item: Are we ready for wind? (LTE)

https://www.dailyitem.com/opinion/are-we-ready-for-wind/article_6bc8df32-6435-11ec-a447-3ba311ce38ba.html

What’s behind the increases in your utility bills? Everything but fuel cost

https://www.post-gazette.com/business/powersource/2021/12/20/What-s-behind-the-increases-in-your-utility-bills-Everything-but-fuel-cost/stories/202112190047

Lawmakers consider bill to account for cleanup when developing renewable energy projects

https://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/2021/12/23/lawmakers-consider-bill-to-account-for-cleanup-when-developing-renewable-energy-projects/

Bloomsburg Press Enterprise: Two municipalities approve regulation of solar energy

https://www.pressenterpriseonline.com/daily/122221/page/1/story/two-municipalities-approve-regulation-of-solar-energy

 

2021 Initiatives By The Biden Administration, Congress Make Historic Investments In Cleaning Up PA’s Environment; How To Invest $11 Billion Remains Up In The Air  [PaEN]

http://paenvironmentdaily.blogspot.com/2021/12/in-2021-action-by-biden-administration.html

 

TOOLS & RESOURCES

Federal Tax Credits for Consumer Energy Efficiency | ENERGY STAR

WEBINARS, EVENTS & TRAINING 

U.S. DOE Better Buildings Webinar Series

To browse all upcoming webinars, see the calendar view. To explore past webinars, click here.

  • 1/11/2022, GLASS HALF-FULL: HOW WATER REDUCTION SUPPORTS RESILIENCY, COST SAVINGS, AND OCCUPANT HEALTH at 11am
  • 2/1/2022, PV VALUATION: HOW SOLAR PV ADDS VALUE TO YOUR ASSETS at 11am
  • 2/15/2022, SHELTER FROM THE STORM: POWERING COMMUNITY RESILIENCE HUBS at 11am
  • 3/1/2022, WORK SMARTER, NOT HARDER: CREATIVE PROJECT AND PROCESS IMPLEMENTATION at 11am
  • 3/15/2022, COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL SOLAR: STATE OF THE MARKET AND SOLAR LEASE BEST PRACTICES at 11am
  • 4/15/2022, LOW CARBON TECHNOLOGIES: STRATEGIES FOR DIFFERENT BUILDING TYPES at 11am

Register for upcoming events: https://betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov/better-buildings-webinar-series

 

ENERGY STAR webinars, January 2022 (free but registration required)

◦ January 5, 2022, 12:00pm, Portfolio Manager 101

◦ January 6, 2022, 1:00pm, Updated 1-100 ENERGY STAR Score for Medical Office Buildings

◦ January 10, 2022, 1:00pm, Building Performance Standards and Ways to Meet Them

◦ January 11, 2022, 12:00pm, Portfolio Manager 201

◦ January 18, 2022, 1:00pm, Streamline Portfolio Manager Data Entry with Web Services

◦ January 18, 2022, 1:30pm, Energy Benchmarking as a Service with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager

◦ January 19, 2022, 12:00pm, Portfolio Manager 301

Register, go to:  https://esbuildings.webex.com/mw3300/mywebex/default.do?siteurl=esbuildings&service=6

 

Test Your Energy Awareness!
Answer to last month’s question:

How much can you save using LED lights on your Christmas tree vs. traditional incandescent lights?

  1. 20-30%
  2. 50-60%
  3. 80-90%

80-90% is correct

This Month’s Question:
True or False.

Most electric vehicle (EV) charging takes place along a highway.

(answer to this month’s question will appear in next month’s eNewsletter)

Disclaimer: DEP is listing these articles and websites for your information only and is not endorsing any commercial product, service, enterprise, or opinion included in this email.

I am the DEP Northcentral region energy program specialist with DEP’s Energy Programs Office.  We are the Commonwealth’s state energy office, and receive annual funding from the Federal Department of Energy’s State Energy Program for a variety of initiatives.  My intention in providing these eNewsletters is to share information on topics including energy efficiency, energy management, alternative & renewable energy, and related topics that may be of interest and help in management of your facility.  I will also share information on energy-related studies and policies, and funding announcements.

Please feel free to reply and let me know if you have suggestions, questions or items you want to have listed in next month’s newsletter.  Also let me know if you would prefer not to receive these e-mail messages. Thank you.

 

Michelle Ferguson | Energy Program Specialist
Department of Environmental Protection | Energy Programs Office
North Central Regional Office
208 West Third Street Suite 101 | Williamsport PA 17701
Phone: 570.327.3783
miferguson@pa.gov

 

Grease and Flushable Wipes: Unforeseen Clogs, Buildup/Back-Ups, and Major Expense

Grease dumped down drain and “flushable” wipes flushed down the drain can be an unforeseen major expense when it comes to your pipes or your neighbor down the street.  Please be responsible and dispose of grease and wipes in the trash.

FOOD PREPARATION FACILITIES: This is the time of year to get your grease logs turned in to the Borough Office.  All logs should be turned in by December 17, 2021.  If you need a copy of the Grease Log, please stay on our website and go to “Codes”, “Applications & Forms” to print one. 

Inflow & Infiltration (I&I) – When ground/storm water are being misdirected and enter into the sanitary system.

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has determined that the Eastern Snyder County Regional

Authority (ESCRA) and participating municipal systems have a significant amount of inflow and infiltration.  DEP voiced their concerns when the yearly Chapter 94 report was reviewed and design capacity was exceeded during rain events.  ESCRA has estimated it treated 50 MILLION gallons of I&I in 2019 alone!

What is Inflow & Infiltration (I&I)?

Inflow happens when groundwater and storm water is misdirected and enters into the sanitary sewer system through incorrect connections within the collection system.  Homes and businesses contribute in a number of ways—roof drains, downspouts, sump pumps, driveway drains, foundation and floor drains, and stairwells plumbed into sanitary sewage systems instead of storm sewers or “daylight”.  These connections are illegal.  Fortunately, they are easily and cheaply fixable.

Infiltration is when groundwater enters the sanitary sewer system through faulty sewer laterals (home to street), pipes or manholes.  These pipes might have cracks or leaks that let water in.  This can happen because of age, installation and maintenance issues or even tree roots.

Inflow & Infiltration costs you money.  I&I water is referred to as “clear water”, as opposed to sanitary sewage water.  When clear water gets into the wastewater system, it gets treated.  When it gets treated, it costs you money.  It also takes up valuable capacity within the system.  This is a problem for the waste water treatment plant (WWTP) when it is working near maximum capacity.  Accommodating I&I at the WWTP may result in oversized and overpriced treatment system expansion, cause inefficient treatment, add to treatment costs, or potentially lead to illicit discharges into the Susquehanna River because the treatment plant capacity has been reached.  Should a sewage discharge happen, DEP may issue fines, issue a connection moratorium, mandate expensive plant expansion or all three.  The Sewer Authority and municipalities will have to decide between investing dollars to reduce I&I or may need to limit new residential or economic development.  Recently, ESCRA has completed videoing their sewer trunk lines.  Rehabilitation work is scheduled for 2021 to resolve I&I issues.  New development can strain the plant when already operating near capacity, leading to a need for an expensive plant expansion.  The other option is limiting residential or economic development opportunities.  This will stifle the area’s growth and loses opportunities to enhance tax revenue.

The December 2020 rain, snow melt and high water contributed to 10 times the average daily flow produced within the sanitary sewer system.  This lead to the sewer plant treating flow beyond its designed limits.  Issues like these are highly frowned upon by DEP.  They could require the plant to have expensive upgrades or an expansion.

Much of the excessive flow can be attributed to down spouts, basement floor drains and sump pumps plumbed into the sanitary sewer.  These types of connections are prohibited by Code.  Homeowners can inexpensively and quickly remedy these connections.  Down spout elbows cost about $4.00.  Floor drain expansion plugs are about the same.  Sump pump connections can be easily rerouted to “daylight” outside the home.  These inexpensive alterations could prevent increased sewer costs in the future.

How to identify Inflow & Infiltration:

There are a number of strategies the Borough will undertake to find problem connections and leaks in order to reduce or stop I&I.

  1. Informing the public. The purpose of this article is to encourage each property owner to take a look at their building.  Are down spouts and roof drains plumbed to “daylight”?  Are sump pumps plumbed to “daylight”?  Are stair wells, floor drains, foundations and driveway drains connected to a sump pump and “daylight”?  Do you need expansion plugs in basement floor drains to prevent waste water entering during high rain event or sewage line blockage?
  2. The next step in identifying I&I is to locate where problems are occurring and isolate the areas that have the worst I&I. First, we will analyze daily flow data from the last several years and compare against rainfall records.  We may need to set up flow monitoring instruments in each section of the sewer system.  By monitoring the flows, you can better identify which areas may have problems.
  3. Inspection of manholes can identify leaks from joints and provides the opportunity to view the drainage near a structure. Manholes can be located within a wetland or ditch that gets submerged during rain events.  These manholes can contribute significant inflow and infiltration through leaky covers.
  4. Smoke testing may be needed in residential areas. A blower is set up over a neighborhood manhole, and non-toxic smoke is pumped through the sewer line.  Smoke testing can be a very efficient and cost effective way to locate and identify the source of an inflow and infiltration problem.  The smoke used is non-toxic and does not leave any residue.  The smoke is pressurized and follows the path of any leaks in the system, revealing the location of the inflow and infiltration.  Sources of I&I can be cracks in the sewer pipes themselves, roof drains, downspouts, sump pumps, floor drains, French drains and faulty manholes.
  5. Closed circuit television inspection (CCTV)/pipe inspection. We will view inside our system pipes through the use of CCTV.  A small camera travels down the length of a pipe and produces visuals where an operator can identify leaks and be viewed from the surface.
  6. Home inspections. If the amount of I&I cannot be reduced, the Borough will need to have inspections completed by a third party.

 

 

 

Recycling: Shredded Paper MUST be in a plastic bag from now on.

All shredded paper taken to the Public Works Building for Recycling MUST be in a plastic bag.

We are being told by the Lycoming County Resource Management Services that shredded paper is being placed in the recycling loose and not bagged.  This is where they have one exception to using a plastic bag in the recycling.  Having the shredded paper bagged makes it easy for their hand sorters to pull the product off the line to avoid it going in places it should not be.

Electronic Billing Now Available (Homeowners Only): Water-Sewer-Recycling (if applicable, Rental Registration)

Are you a homeowner who thinks electronic billing is for you?  The water-sewer-recycling (if applicable, rental registration) billings are now being offered as an email bill.  If interested, please click the form link below to print (also located under, “Codes”, “Applications & Forms”) or stop by the office (1 N. High Street and ring the doorbell) to pick up a copy.  By choosing the email option, your billing will no longer be mailed via the USPS.  We will email your bill to the requested email address.  Please be sure you check your junk folder/spam folder if you do not receive it in the inbox.

Billings are sent out each year on or before:  January 20 (due February 20); April 20 (due May 20); July 20 (due August 20); and October 20 (due November 20)

Request Email Billing Water-Sewer-Recycling