Plan to sell Kane sewer system remains in limbo

Ted Lutz

A plan to sell the Kane sewage treatment system to Pennsylvania American Water remains in limbo.
Pennsylvania American last July offered to buy the sewage system for $17,560,000.
The borough of Kane, Wetmore Township and the Kane Borough Sewer Authority appear to be in favor of the deal.
However, the township and borough have yet to reach an agreement on the division of net proceeds— estimated at about $12 million.
The township has gone on record in favor of receiving 30 percent from the sale. The borough council reportedly has made a counter offer. 
While the borough and township continue to haggle over the amount of proceeds they should receive from the sale, the potential buyer is patiently waiting in the wings.
Dan Bickerton, the mid-atlantic director of business development for Pennsylvania American Water, said Tuesday that the borough-township dispute over the proceeds “could hold up a closing” of the sales agreement.
Speaking at a meeting of the authority at the borough building, Bickerton said Pennsylvania American is ready and willing to file its paperwork with the Pennsylvania Utility Commission (PUC).
“We’re at a point where we want to get it filed,” Bickerton told the authority.
According to Bickerton, obtaining final approval of the purchase of the Kane sewer system by Pennsylvania American is “very realistically a year away” after the clock begins with the PUC filing.
He estimated that it would take about seven months to receive PUC approval. It pointed out that the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) also needs to give its blessing. The DEP approval will include the transfer of permits and other regulatory documents, he said.
“There are a lot of hoops to jump through,” Bickerton said.
The borough council, township supervisors and authority held a joint meeting earlier this year at the Kane Fire Hall in an effort to reach a final sales agreement.
The township Board of Supervisors has gone on record in favor of receiving 30 percent of the net proceeds from the sale. 
The borough council has yet to approve an final agreement for its share.
Bickerton said Pennsylvania American is “ready to sign an agreement” to purchase the sewer system.
He said the “situation” between the township and borough over the sharing of the sale proceeds is “something that needs addressed.”
Bickerton said it might require “special meetings” by the municipalities and authority to reach an acceptable sales agreement.
He is hoping the differences could be resolved sooner rather than later.
He said Pennsylvania American would like to see a final deal “knocked out by the end of April” so it could file its paperwork with the PUC at that time.

For full article, check the March 20, 2019 printed or e-edition of The Kane Republican