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Agreement deadline between Tyrone and paper mill extended

A deadline for an agreement between Tyrone Borough and the American Eagle Paper Mill regarding sewage rates, capacity and fines for violations has been extended by a week.
Borough Manager Sharon Dannaway told The Daily Herald the deadline for the having the agreement in place was extended to this Friday in order to allow all the parties involved to sign it.
Last month, members of the Tyrone Borough Authority approved the agreement with the mill. Later the same day, members of borough council also approved it.
However, details of the agreement have yet to be released. The approvals were made contingent on language being worked out between the borough and the mill.
In between the two meetings on March 13, borough solicitor Larry Clapper said that municipal boards often take action to approve things contingent on certain details being worked out. He told the press, “You’ll see it as soon as it’s finalized.”
He said the approval is subject to his “agreement” with the mill owners.
The mill is being subject to fines for exceeding their permitted biochemical oxygen demand. The mill has the right to appeal those fines and they had already been extended more time to appeal in order to allow the completion of the new agreement. The original extension was up last Friday, but as noted by Dannaway the two sides now have until this Friday to take care of things.
Last month, Clapper explained, “The official action takes place when I give the consent, then we release the documents.”
The borough’s decision not to release details of the agreement led to formal requests by some media outlets including The Daily Herald to see the agreement. The Herald has received word from the borough that Clapper is reviewing the newspaper’s request. To date, the paper has not received a response from Clapper regarding the request. The borough has up to 30 days to respond from the time it informed the paper that the matter had been turned over to Clapper.
The mill had a two-year agreement with the borough that ended on Dec. 31. Under that agreement, their sewage charges were capped at $429,000 per year. Without a cap, the borough would have taken in an additional $229,000.
Other users saw a 65-percent rate increase beginning in 2004. If the borough imposed the same increase on the mill, American Eagle could see their costs increase to $953,000 with the increase and other factors.
The Borough’s engineer Ray Myers said the maximum was based on a 65-percent increase on what the mill would have paid during the two years if there had been no cap. It was also suggested the borough recoup the $229,000 over a five-year period at about $45,000 a year.
The rate the mill will pay under the new agreement, whether or not it will receive increased capacity and the issues of the fines remain unknown.