RTMA votes down lease

BLANDBURG – Reade Township Municipal Authority members decided Thursday against turning its operations over to Glendale Valley Municipal Authority, voting down a previously passed 60-day lease and management agreement.

The vote resolved what authority solicitor Tim Burns called a legal “gray area,” with a March 19 joint special meeting between RTMA and GVMA having adjourned without a decision.

At the joint meeting, RTMA had approved the proposed lease agreement while GVMA voted against it, declining to take on the liability of running RTMA without promise of a future sale.

But Glendale’s board changed its tune and approved the agreement at a March 25 meeting.

GVMA Manager Tracy Plessinger said the agreement was approved as a sign of good faith, that Glendale was willing to work with RTMA on the terms of a future sales agreement.

GVMA officials said they believed the 60-day contract was finalized at that point.

Burns told the Mirror that RTMA could vote on the agreement again if it wanted but said it seemed that Reade wanted to move forward with the lease.

But board members changed their minds, RTMA Chairman Tom Hollis said. They wanted a revote.

“You are giving up total control for 60 days” should the board approve the agreement, he said.

And Hollis said despite the GVMA vote, the lease agreement wasn’t in effect.

“I have not signed any papers yet,” he said.

Because Hollis also sits on the GVMA board, he abstained from the vote, with the other six members voting against the lease.

About a dozen residents attended the meeting and asked the board to vote down the lease agreement.

“I don’t think the water company needs to go anywhere except for here,” one man said.

RTMA Manager Jim Scott, who had resigned from his position last month, said Thursday that he decided to stay with the authority, adding it is “on track and doing well.”

He said it will continue to be a valuable resource for residents, several of whom thanked the board.