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MACCALMAN v. BUCKS COUNTY. (06/05/63)

June 5, 1963

MACCALMAN, APPELLANT,
v.
BUCKS COUNTY.



Appeal, No. 188, Jan. T., 1963, from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, Dec. T., 1962, No. 175, in case of Duncan I MacCalman and Barbara MacCalman, his wife, v. County of Bucks, Edward B. Boyer, John Justus Bodley et al. Decree affirmed.

COUNSEL

Roland E. Sykes, for appellants.

John O. Karns, with him John W. Dean, III, and Ballard, Spahr, Andrews & Ingersoll, for appellee.

Before Bell, C. J., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'brien and Roberts, JJ.

[ 411 Pa. Page 317]

OPINION PER CURIAM

In January 1962, as the result of comprehensive studies and reports made by independent groups which clearly indicated that in certain areas of Bucks County

[ 411 Pa. Page 318]

    the public water and sewage facilities were wholly inadequate to meet both the present and the future anticipated needs of such areas, the County Commissioners of Bucks County (County) created the Bucks County Water and Sewage Authority (Authority).

"As one of its undertakings, the Authority has proposed the 'Neshaminy Sewer Project' ..., whereby [the Authority] would provide and operate a trunk interceptor sewer line and furnish sewage treatment and disposal facilities, designed to serve those portions of nine local municipalities within the county (five second class townships, and four boroughs) which lie topographically within the lower Neshaminy Creek watershed south or southeast of Newtown Township."*fn1 The Authority under its plan would construct this interceptor sewer line,*fn2 would maintain it and would provide for the proper treatment and disposal of the sewage; the Authority would enter into agreements with the several municipalities under which agreements the municipalities would construct sewage collection sewers, would connect their sewers to the Authority's interceptor sewer line and would pay to the Authority a proportionate (based on users) share of the annual operating expenses and sewage facilities amortization expenses of the Authority.

Aware that the local municipalities were unable financially to provide the necessary facilities themselves, that proper planning required the construction of regional facilities with sufficient capacity to meet the present and future needs of the area, that the costs of such would exceed the present ability of the municipalities to support the same, that it would be entirely unfeasible for each municipality to solve its problems

[ 411 Pa. Page 319]

    alone or on a piece-meal basis, that the County as a whole, as well as the municipalities involved, would benefit from the project and that the health of this particular area might well be seriously threatened and affected unless appropriate sewer facilities and adequate disposal and treatment of sewage were presently furnished,*fn3 the County on November 20, 1962, by appropriate resolution, approved a so-called Service Agreement, expressed its intent both to execute such agreement and to commit itself to make certain annual appropriations from county funds for the project and requested the controller of the County to make provision for such annual appropriations in the next county budget. Under this so-called Service Agreement, the County, in order to make the project for the municipalities economically feasible, sets forth its willingness to aid the municipalities in providing sewers and sewer treatment services until such time as the number of connections in the municipalities' collections systems has increased sufficiently to make such county aid unnecessary and to this end will provide county funds intended to be sufficient to maintain the rates of the Authority to the municipalities at not more than a certain number of dollars per equivalent residential unit. In line with that purpose, the County, under the Service Agreement, for each fiscal year will determine in advance the amount which the Authority will require during each fiscal year to meet all of ...


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