Bucks Commission's Vote Advances Pump Project

Posted: December 04, 1986

The Bucks County Commissioners voted yesterday to take the legal steps necessary to give two Montgomery County water authorities title to more than 30 acres involved in the controversial Point Pleasant pump project.

The move represented "one of the first visible watermarks" that the project would be completed, said Tracy Carluccio, executive secretary of the Neshaminy Water Resources Authority (NWRA), which has opposed the water pumping station.

She said that specifications are being drafted and that bids would be sought in January for construction of the pump in Point Pleasant on the Delaware River. She said construction of the long-delayed project should resume in April.

Carluccio said the NWRA and the county, which had lost a bid in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to halt the pump project, had dropped its fight.

"We are under a court order to build the project," said Carluccio. ''While our board members feel very strongly this project . . . will end up being an albatross around the necks of the people of this area, . . . that's what we're doing."

The project involves a large pump on the banks of the Delaware that will push river water uphill at Point Pleasant to a manmade reservoir in Plumstead Township.

The reservoir is to be built by Philadelphia Electric Co., which will take some of the water and send it, through existing streams and yet-to-be-built pipelines, to its Limerick nuclear generating station in Montgomery County.

The remainder of the water will belong to the North Penn and North Wales Water Authorities, which will pipe the water to Lake Galena in New Britain Township, the centerpiece of Bucks County's Peace Valley Park. The water will flow down the North Branch of the Neshaminy Creek to a pumping station to be built in Chalfont Borough, and then piped to Montgomery County.

Bernard Chanin, PE's attorney, called yesterday's action by the Bucks commissioners "another major step forward" for the project.

The commissioners ordered the transfer, to the North Penn and North Wales Authorities, of easements for two pipelines, one between PE's reservoir and Lake Galena, a distance of about 3/4-mile, and another between the Neshaminy Creek and the county line, about six miles.

They also approved transfer of title to 30 acres along the Neshaminy Creek, where the pumping station is to be built.

Bucks County Solicitor James M. McNamara said that the property title would be transferred at an appraised value of about $400,000, but that the final value would be negotiated later.

Carluccio said the total value of the NWRA's investment in property, permits and design for the project's municipal water features was $27 million. She said Bucks County Court Judge Isaac S. Garb, in his decree that ordered the NWRA to turn over its property, said the value of the transaction could be determined in court after the transaction took place.

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