The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

May 12, 2014

Sewer service needed

Developer wants to tap in to build condos

LACKAWANNOCK TOWNSHIP, HERMITAGE — A former Farrell man has asked the city of Hermitage to allow him to tap in to the city sanitary sewer lines so he can build high-end condominium villas in Lackawannock Township.

Hermitage city officials have agreed to talk about the proposal, which could mean a few more city residents would be able to get sewer service

Jeff Platteborze, who owns 10 rental homes in Farrell and develops homes in the Dallas area, where he lives, owns 24.6 acres south of East State Street and east of Dermond Road. The property is partly in Hermitage and Jefferson Township, but the area slated for the condos is solely in Lackawannock Township.

The property has no frontage on East State, and access would have to come from Dermond.

Platteborze is envisioning a multiple-phase construction schedule, starting with 12 units and eventually reaching 80 to 100.

Platteborze, who develops single-family homes, said he wants to build something “bigger and better” than what he now builds.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to pursue it to the next level,” he said, considering a project in his home area as a way to “give back to the community.”

The condos in a private, gated community, would be built around a 3-acre lake and have a “cabin look with a modern feel,” he said.

“The lake makes it,” Platteborze said. “It’s up on a hill. It’s secluded.”

Platteborze does not have funding for the project, but he and his engineer, Ed Winslow of Winslow Engineering Inc., Hermitage, said funding is moot if he cannot get sewer service.

Jefferson Township has a sewer line that runs along East State and connects to Hermitage for the sewage to be treated. While there was talk of Lackawannock also building some sewer lines at the same time as Jefferson, that did not come to fruition, and Lackawannock did not sign a proposed intermunicipal agreement, said Tom Darby, Hermitage Municipal Authority manager.

Such an agreement will need to be in place for the Platteborze proposal to be approved, he said.

The authority last week asked engineering firm Herbert, Rowland and Grubic, which has a Hermitage office, to look into the request as Darby wasn’t sure whether the development’s flow could reach the city by gravity lines or whether Platteborze would have to build a pump station.

Darby also questioned whether the city’s pump station in that area would be large enough o handle the additional flow.

“If we have to upscale the pump station, that would be a cost to go back on the developer,” he said.

Platteborze said he was sure his land is higher than the line and no pumping would be needed.

If the project goes forward, the city might be able to connect a handful of city houses, if they have failing septic systems, Darby said.

“If we can work it out, I think it’s a good thing, as long as we address this issue about capacity,” said City Manager Gary P. Hinkson.

Platteborze said he will appear before the Lackawannock supervisors tonight to introduce the project and ask for their support.

Supervisor Richard Schuller said is aware of the project and doesn’t believe there will be a problem reaching an intermunicipal agreement with Hermitage.

The township has seen scattered single-family home building in recent years. “It would be nice” to have a development such as the one proposed by Platteborze, Schuller said.

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