In recent weeks, the council has been debating whether to upgrade the Brookhaven plant, which has been cited for violations several times in recent years by state Department of Environmental Resources inspectors, or to demolish the plant and send the sewage to the Aston facility, which handles some or all of the sewage treatment for five area municipalities.
The 30-year agreement the council approved Monday would maintain the sewage treatment fee for the 722 customers at what they paid last year: $105. Future rate increases for Brookhaven residents may be made only as part of a general increase for all authority customers, said Borough Solicitor James Proud.
"We're recommending what we think is by far the most economically feasible plan," Proud told the council.
The council's Democrats, however, asked that there be more information meetings about the matter before a vote would be taken.
"I feel as if I've been left out of this, and so have some other members of the council," said Mayor Ralph Garzia. He added that he was opposed to the plan. "If we get rid of (Brookhaven's) plant, we lose control of our rates," Garzia said.
It will cost Brookhaven $150,000 to demolish its treatment plant and build a pipeline to the South West Delco authority sewer lines, said Keith Smythyman, who works for Borough Engineer Charles Catania. But the borough has a reserve of almost $500,000 that can be used to cover those expenses, he added.
The agreement still must be ratified by the sewer authority, Proud said, adding that he expected no problems.
In other business, the council voted unanimously to approve a new five-year $672,000 trash-hauling agreement with John Blosenski & Sons of Middletown. Borough trash rates, which are now set at $60 a year per household, are not expected to increase next year, Council President David Schlott said in an interview after the meeting.