Thursday, August 16, 2018

Brentwood Borough Council recently took action on a pair of critical new statutes while it concurrently revised a key clause within an existing ordinance. First, our municipality is pleased to announce that it is the first community in the state to offer a formal backflow prevention valve installation program.  Despite significant investments in sanitary sewer infrastructure, it is recognized that that our system is hindered by groundwater infiltration and limited pipe capacity; consequently, during severe rain events, some residents have occasionally been subject to the unsettling and unpleasant experience of seeing sewage back up into the basements of their homes.  For properties that are constructed in certain topographic low spots, a backflow prevention device can serve as a critical failsafe, as this equipment can prevent waste from travelling the opposite way through discharge pipes due to overflows within municipal main lines. While other communities have offered to share the cost of placing these apparatuses in affacted structures, Brentwood's policy provides a mechanism for documenting backflow events and ensuring that all residents have equal access to funding. 

 

Second, our Borough responded to requests by the passionte volunteers of its fire company by adopting an ordinance that will provide this organization with access to an additional revenue stream. While other states give fire departments significnat latitude to collect service fees, in Pennsylvania, these agencies can only collect funds from insurance companies for their responses to vehicular accidents; in order to bill providers, the sponsoring municipality must approve authorizing legislation. Unlike most peer statutes, Brentwood's emergency service reimbursement ordinance provides a schedule of fees that will help the organization to justify its costs when dealing with penny-pinching carriers.

 

Finally, Council tweaked its existing alcohol policy to allow for beer to be sold at a limited number of events. The ordinance alteration applies only to those festivities that are sponsored solely by the municipality, such as our upcoming Brownsville Road street fair.