RAWA authorizes execution of new lease, requests small changes

READING, Pa. - Reading Area Water Authority (RAWA) moved to authorize execution of the 4th Amendment to the lease agreement between RAWA and the City of Reading on Thursday, but not without leaving room for small changes.

Instead of passing the amendment as presented, solicitor Michael Setley suggested that the wording of the agreement lacked a bit of clarity when it came to the $8 million amount that RAWA would be paying in lease fees every year.

Setley pointed out that in 2013, for example, the lease payment was about $8.83 million, but of that amount approximately $7.90 million was subsidy from the city and about $900,000 was cost reimbursement. 

To ensure RAWA does not have to pay a substantial amount over $8 million, the board authorized Setley to call Stevens & Lee, the law firm handling the amendment, to see about changing a few words within the document.

The board authorized payments of $82,426.95 out of the capital account, and $791,723.57 out of the general account.

Executive director Dean Miller explained that the significant increase in the amount out of the general fund was due to the water main break on Route 61.

The repairs amounted to approximately $200,000 but Miller said the amount was "very reasonable for the amount of effort they expended to get the project done." 

The board also discussed  the relocation of a pipe at Pendora Park so that the Olivet Boys and Girls Club can begin construction of a building at the park.

The original location for the building was right over a 16-inch water main that, when used as an alternate route for water, can have 750,000 to one million gallons flow through it per day.

If the pipe were to be moved, RAWA would have to employ an outside contractor to do the work.

There was no decision about who would foot the bill for relocating the pipe that could range from $110,000 to $130,000.

Further discussion about the issue was pushed to the zoning board hearing next week .

RAWA also recognized former board member Raymond Schuenermann for his leadership and dedication to the board since 2009.

"The city and the board owe you a debt of great gratitude for helping us through what we have gone through over the last six months," said Ernest Schlegel, RAWA chairman.

The next workshop meeting will be held on August 12 at 4 p.m. in the board room at RAWA, located at 1801 Kutztown Road in Reading.

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