The Public Sewer Plan was recommended in the Mifflin County Comprehensive Plan and is an update to the sewer plan completed in 1979. The plan was prepared with many opportunities for public participation. In July, 2008, the plan was completed with the assistance of RETTEW Associates, Inc. and input from an advisory committee. Two public meetings were held during the process, one at the beginning of the process to determine the area’s needs, and one at the end of the plan’s development to review the recommendations. Prior to the plan’s adoption, municipalities were provided a final draft for review.
The Public Sewer Plan provides insight into land development activity within the County. It shows land development activity continued to climb in the outlying townships, while most boroughs experienced losses in terms of population and tax base. Projections over the next 20 years depict the County increasing by over 3,800 residents and by a corresponding 1,550 dwelling units. Other findings indicate that 58 percent unused sewage capacity is available at municipal facilities, and an estimated $75 million is needed to meet the Chesapeake Bay Tributary Strategy and/or other wastewater treatment facility expansion or maintenance needs. Plan recommendations include the following:
- Update Act 537 plans to be consistent with the County and local planning documents;
- Adopt and implement the designated growth and rural area concept identified in the County Comprehensive Plan focusing on coordinating zoning districts, density, and intensity of uses, and public infrastructure improvements (sewer);
- Require secondary percs and probes for alternate on-lot sewage disposal sites and systems, and perpetual easements to reserve an on-lot area for a back-up or alternate disposal system;
- Establish a Countywide Sewer Committee to review municipal planning and sewer documents to determine consistency with long range planning;
- Complete the Mifflin County Economic Development Strategy to better understand where opportunities exist for development in the County within the next two years;
- Begin regional cost-sharing initiatives associated with wastewater treatment plant operations;
- Explore the feasibility of developing a regional septage facility; and
- Coordinate regional capital improvement plans to help offset costs associated with addressing the requirements of the Chesapeake Bay Tributary Strategy.
The project was funded in part by a DCED Land Use Planning and Technical Assistance Program (LUPTAP) grant and the Mifflin County Commissioners with contributions from Burnham Borough, Derry Township, and Lewistown Borough.