Judge orders sewer tap hearing for Antis methadone clinic

A judge’s order handed down yesterday says Antis Township is required to schedule a hearing on sewer taps for a proposed methadone clinic, but the township’s solicitor believes there are issues that give grounds for appeal.
Blair County Judge Hiram Carpenter’s ruling comes at a pivotal time for Allied Medical Services, Inc., the company hoping to establish a medical clinic to provide methadone to recovering heroin addicts in the area.
According to Patrick Fanelli, Antis Township solicitor, Judge Carpenter agreed with every argument presented by the township to the court; however, Fanelli said Carpenter ruled that a hearing must be held at the township level before being argued at the county.
The trouble for Allied Medical Services, Inc. came late last year when it requested the installation of a sewage holding tank at its proposed site, owned by local Rob Simmington. The Logan Township Sewage Treatment Plant had put a stop on all new sewer taps for its system. The methadone clinic requires at least three.
Antis Township Supervisors examined the situation and decided to deny the holding tank request.
According to Fanelli, it was then a requirement of AMS to request a hearing before the supervisors within 30 days of the denial. Fanelli said this important hearing was never requested.
Instead, Fanelli said AMS went to the Blair County Court of Common Pleas to appeal the township’s ruling.
“It just doesn’t work in that way,” said Fanelli. “If they had a problem with the supervisor’s decision, they should have requested a hearing at the township. Instead, they just skipped that entire step and went straight to the county’s court of common pleas.”
Fanelli said Judge Carpenter agreed with all of the arguements Fanelli presented regarding AMS skipping the township-level hearing.
“I haven’t spoken with the supervisors yet about the situation,” said Fanelli. “But depending on what they want to do, I feel there is good reason to appeal this decision requiring us to hold a hearing.”
Fanelli said he hopes the supervisors can gather soon in an executive session to iron out what the township’s next course of action is going to be.
Fanelli said Judge Carpenter did not set any specific date in which the hearing must be held.