Categories News

Mount Joy Borough Hears Objections to Water Quality Plan

The Mount Joy Borough Council held a public hearing to hear comments on a Pollutant Reduction Plan  prepared by ARRO Engineering. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection requires that the municipality submit this plan by Sept. 16 to receive a 2018-2023 permit for discharging its storm water into natural waterways. The council got an earful from the audience.

The borough must reduce the amount of storm water pollutants which enter Chesapeake Bay from Donegal Creek, Little Chiques Creek, Lower Chiques Creek, Cabin Creek, the Susquehanna River and Hartman Run. They must reduce sediment by 10 percent, phosphorous by 5 percent and nitrogen by 3 percent and also reduce organic compounds. To improve water quality and meet the required reductions, ARRO proposes a set of Best Management Practices to include converting the existing dry detention basin north of 537 Market St. into a wet pond and installing a vegetated swale north of Rotary Park from Fairview Street to Old Market Street.

Residents were invited to review the plan from June 28 until Aug. 4 and submit written comments in advance plus oral comments at the meeting on Monday, Aug. 7.

After ARRO’s Nate Merkel presented the plan with slides and handouts, the floor was opened to public comment. Resident Greg Guncan asked for details on the bases and criteria used by ARRO to develop its proposed BMP. Resident Bruce Haigh challenged the plan, stating he had submitted 97 written comments to the borough. Haigh said “there are major major mistakes in this document. EPA and DEP will not accept it. It’s not professional. It’s not ready for prime time.”  A representative of the Arbor Rose Home Owners Association expressed concern that plan might have negative impact on the dry basin paid for by the association.

Council Member Hans Seidel asked that those concerned with the plan attend the next borough Public Works Committee meeting on Monday, Aug. 14, to voice their concerns. Seidel chairs this committee. Mayor Tim Bradley expressed concern that the borough public works staff on the committee may not be able to respond with all of the technical details but Seidel responded that it was not necessary for ARRO to be represented at the public works committee meeting.

Also at the council meeting on Monday, Aug. 7, Main Street Mount Joy Executive Director Kim Brewer responded to earlier council questions about her budget by stating that her organization has presented a complete audited financial statement to the borough manager every year since 2003. Main Street Mount Joy board member Dale Murray suggested that rather than Individual council members informally querying borough-supported organizations the process be formalized requiring a council motion.

Mayor Tim Bradley presented a commendation plaque to Donegal High School student Joanna Harlacher who won National History Day Senior Individual Website first prize for her submission “Fred Rogers-Beyond the Cardigan.” Harlacher commented that her theme for the project was “universal love.”

About the author