Collegeville Council Votes to Dissolve Public Works

Borough Council President Terrie Stagliano says this is the best decision for ratepayers in Collegeville and Trappe.


Collegeville Borough Council voted unanimously last night to dissolve the Collegeville-Trappe Joint Public Works (CTJPW) and transfer the assets into the Collegeville-Trappe Municipaly Authority (CTMA), which will run water, sewer and public works for the boroughs of Collegeville and Trappe.

The vote occurred one day after , on the same resolution.

Currently, CTJPW controls the water and the public works for the boroughs, and the CTMA controls the sewer system.

“There were a bunch of questions last night [at the Trappe Meeting],” said Collegeville Borough Council President Terrie Stagliano.  “I thought that last October, the questions that were brought up by Trappe were addressed – ”

Stagliano said that most joint committees have been creating legislation to move to authorities, and that is in the best interest of ratepayers in Collegeville and Trappe.

“It keeps politics – which is exactly what is going on right now – out of the decision making,” Trappe said.

Councilman Arnold Mann said that the committee structure makes it very difficult to get things accomplished.

“Every time you want to do something, it takes three of four months instead of one,” Mann said.  “The committee has to agree on it, you have to recommend it to the boroughs, the boroughs have to vote on it, then it has to come back, if they don’t quite agree, you have to do it again.”

Trappe Borough is currently run by a seven-member board that is split nearly down the middle, making many decisions of the board acrimonious.

“If it doesn’t happen now, CTMA and public works will be in a deadlock for the next four years and Trappe will continuously want to disband CTMA to get their hands on the money,” said Councilman Rowan Keenan.

At Tuesday’s Trappe meeting, the board failed to vote on the resolution after solicitor David Onorato said they were putting “the cart before the horse,” deciding to disband public works before the terms and negotiations were ironed out between the two boroughs and with CTMA.

Trappe requested a joint meeting with Collegeville, Trappe, and the CTMA.

Andrew J Curtis III June 07, 2013 at 01:25 PM
The votes of the two councils point out the difficulty in getting things done. Particularly when one of the bodies involved is paranoid that there is a hidden agenda behind every tree. Plus, they listen to folks that are negative about EVERYTHING.
Brick Sturner June 07, 2013 at 03:53 PM
I would actually hope that intelligence and process improvement would be embraced as evident from two basic things: 1) The people who allowed this process to thrive should be dismissed. How many cycles, how much extra expense or exposure, does it take for an honest person to admit he/she is not qualified and to step aside? 2) As an example, Boro Line Rd gets the same potholes patched SEVERAL times a year, EVERY year, going back at least 7 years. When do you dismiss an incompetent crew that obviously doesn't have the skills to do a critical public service, and obviously doesn't care?
CT-Concerned-Citizen June 07, 2013 at 04:26 PM
Brick you are correct in your observations in so many ways. The previous Trappe Borough Council members requested to see the resumes of Joe Hastings and crew to access skill sets and salaries. This and similar types of requests were refused over many years.
CT-Concerned-Citizen June 07, 2013 at 04:38 PM
“If it doesn’t happen now, CTMA and public works will be in a deadlock for the next four years and Trappe will continuously want to disband CTMA to get their hands on the money,” said Councilman Rowan Keenan. Mr. Keenan, please! It is Collegeville that is in SERIOUS financial trouble and wants to get their hands on the money. Want proof? Another property off the tax role as Ursinus has very quietly purchased Marzella's Pizza Building (488 E Main St) in February and will put the current owner out of business as they turn into student housing. Wake up people of Collegeville as every year you are paying more and more taxes for a police department you do not need but the college does and are being deceived by a Borough Council (same players) doing the Ursinus dirty work.
Freed June 07, 2013 at 06:08 PM
Me thinks CT-Concerned-Citizen and Jack Minster are one and the same. C'nest pas?
CT-Concerned-Citizen June 07, 2013 at 06:47 PM
Me knows you are wrong but me thinks Freed is Fred Schuetz - the Trickster of Trappe. And by the way genius, it is not C'nest pas but n'est-ce pas (look it up). N'est-ce pas?
Jack Munster June 07, 2013 at 07:27 PM
Wait, from my understanding, the employees only do what they are told by the Trappe borough manager. Isn't that road up for repaving this year ? I agree that if the borough manager isn't doing her job, she should be replaced by someone more competent.
Nevin H. Scholl June 07, 2013 at 07:29 PM
If Public Works is being blamed for the condition of Borough Line Road I don’t believe it is warranted. While Public Works does patch the road it is Trappe Borough Council and Upper Providence Township’s responsibility to rebuild the road when necessary, and due to poor drainage it has become necessary. Trappe and Upper Providence are working together to make significant improvements to the road. We had hoped to complete the project last year, but it now looks like it will be 2014 before the work is complete. Thank you for your patience. Nevin H. Scholl, Trappe Borough Councilman
Jack Minster June 07, 2013 at 10:54 PM
http://perkiomenvalley.patch.com/blog_posts/collegeville-council-fact-check Factual corrections.
Jack Minster June 07, 2013 at 10:54 PM
http://perkiomenvalley.patch.com/blog_posts/collegeville-council-fact-check Factual corrections.
Jennifer June 08, 2013 at 02:07 AM
Here is an idea, sell it to a private company and everyone get out of the business!
CT-Concerned-Citizen June 08, 2013 at 03:10 PM
Good idea but much more expensive.
Norman Hunsberger June 08, 2013 at 05:22 PM
Wrong. do you want your rates to sky high. Leave it in the control of both Boroughs.
CT-Concerned-Citizen June 08, 2013 at 06:22 PM
Norman, thanks for comment but I disagree (I think that makes you wrong also). There is no evidence that ‘your rates to sky high’ will occur and it certainly has not been the case in the past because certain folks from Trappe made certain rates stayed low. There were many times wherein Collegeville representatives of the various bodies wanted to increase rates and Trappe stood firm. I believe this fiscal spirit will continue with Trappe heading in the opposite direction of the Trusted Team mission of always trying to ramrod issues through and in this case it is evidential by not even putting the vote on the agenda for the June 4th borough council meeting. This is a very important topic and it should be aired in a public forum not in an executive session. Why do you not comment on that? The questions and concerns of last October by Trappe when this vote was last attempted should have been and still should be addressed. And unless they are there should not be any further discussion on the part of any representatives from Trappe Borough. Enough is enough with this nonsense and Collegeville and Trappe should do as little together as possible. Trappe is very conservative and Collegeville very liberal when it comes to fiscal matters. If you want evidence of that just put the two budgets side-by-side and it will be crystal clear.
Minister of Information June 08, 2013 at 06:44 PM
Collegeville and Trappe residents pay next to nothing for water. Just ask your friends that live in Perkiomen or Upper Providence or pretty much anywhere that has a for profit company as there water company. CT quarterly bill is about the same as a month and a half or two months worth of water bills from other providers for a similar size property and house hold.
Jack Munster June 09, 2013 at 12:00 PM
Minister, I'm certain you'll not get a response from Mr Minster and his alter-ego, CT-Concerned Citizen as your point is factual and can be checked 100 % and doesn't follow his propaganda laden diatribe. You've seen it happen before, he will tend to bully somebody with his made up "facts" until someone proves him wrong, then simply respond with "I've stated my point, i'm right, you're wrong and I'm no longer debating you on this subject"
CT-Concerned-Citizen June 09, 2013 at 04:09 PM
As a matter of polite and effective discourse, comments should not be personalized. That is, they should be directed at content and actions rather than people. Personal attacks are bully tactics and do not help make your point as they only hurt your commentary and show your desperation. I will attempt to bottom line this for you and the other readers. Bottom line here is by dissolving CTJPW and only having CTMA is the heading in the opposite direction of the trend (and common sense). While I agree there should be one governing body this should not be CTMA. Collegeville should honor the 1990 agreement to dissolve CTMA and put this matter to rest. Common sense is that most folks want accountability at the elected level not at the appointed level. By the way I am my own person and not an alter ego of anyone. And finally the question begs for an answer as to how do you bully someone with facts?!
Norman Hunsberger June 09, 2013 at 07:14 PM
Look at the other Boroughs that have there water and sewer controlled by outside sources. Rates are very high and slow responses to problems on the systems. I feel that our rates are very reasonable. Both Boroughs have good points and there bad. Not the councils should vote on this, but the residents of both boroughs.
Jack Munster June 10, 2013 at 12:10 AM
CT-Concerned-Citizen 2:47 pm on Friday, June 7, 2013 Me knows you are wrong but me thinks Freed is Fred Schuetz - the Trickster of Trappe. And by the way genius, it is not C'nest pas but n'est-ce pas (look it up). N'est-ce pas? There ya go, ya mental midget...your comment above wasn't what you call "personalized" ? Since you persuaded me to comment on actions and comments via your last post....I am appalled at your post in which you hypothosize that Freed is Fred Schuetz and calling Mr. Schuetz a "trickster" in your words, is deplorable and downright mean spirited. Mr Minster...cough, cough...I mean CT Concerned Citizen....trust me in the fact that very few informed people take you seriously and your only hope is to prey on the uninformed and lemurs that will say what you persuade them to say....cough cough Pat Webster, Good luck and here's hoping that karma exists and you get yours in due time.
CT-Concerned-Citizen June 10, 2013 at 12:40 AM
Herman, there was no denial by Freed that he as Fred and as such I believe he can speak for himself. Anyone such as Fred who Schuetz adds to the Trappe Borough Council agenda an item as important and critical as the dissolution of a critical function of water and sewer utilities is indeed a trickster (Webster: a person who deceives or plays tricks) and by doing so disrespects his fellow council people with whom he serves, the people who elected him, and the oath of office. Once again I am not Jack Minster. And finally if I am a 'mental midget' why have you not addressed the facts I have laid out? You instead turn to personal attacks by stating 'Good luck and here's hoping that karma exists and you get yours in due time.' Please address the issues with facts as I have done or you will continue to embarrass yourself in a public forum. No more replies by me to you as I have stated the case and you just don't like the outcome.
Jack Minster June 10, 2013 at 01:09 AM
It was always the intention to merge the Authority into the Public Works Committee. This should've happened years ago. In a 1990 lawsuit agreement, the Collegeville-Trappe Municipal Authority was created as a temporary entity. From inception, CTMA's founders designed it to be dismantled after its debt was retired. That debt is now retired. If the Committee dies and this Authority survives, the Authority’s Board of appointees will set water and sewer rates. Authority Board members are appointed by Council and serve five year staggered terms. The terms of the current Trappe Authority Board members expire at the end of 2014, 2016 and 2017. Clearly then it will take many years for a newly elected Council to be able to act, at the Authority level, on any voter mandate. If the Committee survives, rates will be set by Committee members. Members who serve at the will of Council, can be changed at any time, and are typically current Council members. Under this scenario voter mandates can be implemented immediately. Simply stated, if voters decide to replace members of Collegeville and Trappe Councils, the old regimes' appointees, even though said regimes were rejected by voters, would remain in control of our municipal water-sewer assets and the rates we pay for many years. Raise rates because they can. Sell assets to Aqua because they can. Et cetera. They would not answer to elected officials nor we who elected them. It would cost ratepayers more.
Freed June 11, 2013 at 03:45 PM
In defense of Fred Schuetz, whose work and opinions I admire, I am not him. Rather, I am John Freed and I live in Collegeville Borough. Fred, I apologize for creating this confusion.


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