Cabot office building planned

BY PAT FARNELLI

Dimock Township supervisors were informed Monday that, in order for Cabot Oil & Gas to proceed with plans for a new office building, they will have to change the township’s own Act 537 sewage plan. The proposed office building, which received preliminary, conditional approval from the Susquehanna County Planning Commission before the April township meeting, is intended to be built on the same property as its existing facilities, but closer to the body of water and wetland area just south of the existing company office and equipment buildings.

Because the intended site is on ground that is “virtually impervious” it will need a sewage treatment plant, concluded Todd Schmidt of Fox Engineering. At last month’s meeting, Schmidt had presented maps and blueprints pertaining to the project, and told the supervisors that it was his opinion that conventional septic options like raised sand mound treatment would not be viable, as the soil there was especially ill-suited and was of a hard-pan type common in the area.

Schmidt said that testing had been conducted since then out at the site, and that the verdict was that the best option was a small flow treatment facility, just as he had supposed. The plan for such a facility was submitted to the Susquehanna County of Governments, which recommended a number of minor changes, which were made, Schmidt said. Now, the township will have to make adjustments to its Act 537 plan, according to DEP regulations, in order for the project to proceed, according to Schmidt.

Chairman Matt Neenan responded, “This is a one time adjustment to our plan, isn’t it?”

Schmidt said that it was, and that Cabot was willing to do whatever it takes to receive the township’s approval on the project. “They could sign a maintenance agreement,” Schmidt said.

Neenan said, “What if Cabot is out of here in 10 years? If we sign a variance and that happens, a lot of responsibility goes on us. We don’t even know what this system looks like. I don’t see how we could sign a variance at this time.”

When asked how long the maintenance agreement would be effective, Schmidt answered, “Perpetually.”
Schmidt explained that the treatment technology proposed for the site is very similar to that found in an elevated sand mound. He said that the sewage would go through a sand filter, then through a chlorine treatment tank, then be de-chlorinated, and the treated effluent would then be discharged to the Burdick Creek.

He said that the company is required to use this sort of system because the expected effluent to be released is 800 gallons per day or greater.

When asked if the proposed sewage use is estimated in EDUs, Schmidt answered that it is estimated at 1,900 gallons per day, or about five EDUs, which are based on the typical water and sewage use of a residential home.

He said that the total number of employees in the offices is estimated at between 150 to 200, but that many of them are not working in the office buildings all day, but spend most of their time out in the field.

Neenan made a motion to table the proposal until next month, allowing the supervisors to contact their solicitor and COG, which was approved.

In other business, an agreement entered into 10 years ago with Time Warner Cable, allowing them to come into the township and offer services, was reviewed, and supervisors signed a new agreement for 15 additional years.

A resolution was adopted for driveway and commercial road crossing permit fees. The new fee schedule adopted for the township will be as follows: Residential driveway permits will be administered by COG with a cost of $25.

Commercial road crossings will be administered by the township. There will be a $150 non-refundable application fee and $100 inspection fee for commercial road crossings, and the applicant must agree to maintain the road for two years, and to notify Dimock Township at least 48 hours prior to construction.
Temporary commercial driveways will also be administered by the township, and a $1,000 fee will be charged that will be refundable if work is completed within one year. If not completed by that time, another $1,000 fee is required.

Bids were opened for cinders and modified road materials. The supervisors accepted a bid from Brown’s for 1500 yards of PennDOT certified black cinders at $15.80 per yard. They also accepted a bid from Pennsy for 2A modified road material at 9.25 delivered, with a $0 fuel charge at this time.

The township advertised several pieces of old equipment for sale after last month’s meeting, consisting of three plows and a York rake. Bids were opened, and the supervisors accepted the high bid from Slumber Valley Campground. “No bids were received for the plows, and if no one expresses an interest in the next few days, they will probably be scrapped out at our convenience,” Neenan said.

A DEP permit was received for a two mile suction pipeline for a Williams compressor station, probably for the Church station, supervisors said.

Dimock Township supervisors meet at 7 p.m. on the first Monday of the month at the municipal building, located on the Dimock to Brooklyn Road.