A group of Property Owners are now trying to band together enough support to file a Lawsuit against those behind the Johnstown Area Sewer Mandate. That project has been forcing Property Owners to spend thousands of dollars replacing their sewer lines and deal with other unintended consequences. Their argument is that the Project and State Mandate should have been entirely handled by the Government, and not become a burden on Property Owners.
Tom McAneny, President of the Alliance of Greater Johnstown Home and Property Owners saying: “If they wanted that done, that’s a public works project and public funds should pay for that, not the homeowners.” Tom McAneny is leading a group called the Alliance of Greater Johnstown Home and Property Owners. Their goal is to launch a Lawsuit against the Municipalities and entities involved in the Johnstown Area sewer line mandates. The mandates came after the State Department of Environmental Protection came to an agreement in 2010 with the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority, which owns the Dornick Point Sewage Treatment Plant, and the 20 Municipalities that connect to Dornick Point, to limit stormwater that caused the plant to overflow during big storms, leading to raw sewage being dumped into the Conemaugh River.
The main crux is the decision to, rather than build bigger pipes and a bigger sewage plant, instead, eliminate stormwater entirely from the system. That passed the buck to Property Owners who have paid thousands of dollars to have major repairs done or face fines and fees, in extreme cases costing more than the home is worth. Eliminating stormwater from draining into the sewer lines has also led to countless Owners experiencing never before seen flooding problems inside their properties.
The Alliance is seeking to get 1,000 Shareholders to pay $500 to help fund what they acknowledge would be a Lawsuit that would take several years to run its course, to recoup costs of the mandated repairs and the damage caused by newly created flooding. McAneny saying: “We feel that it’s not right to come into someone’s house and tell them they have to dig up their sewage pipes inside the 4 walls of their home at their expense and replace pipes that up until 2010 were perfectly legal. A lot of these homes were built 30, 60, 100 years ago and those pipes have been completely legal.”
We reached out to the DEP and the JRA for comment. So far, we have yet to hear back. More information on the Alliance can be found at: johnstownsewerclaimants.com