Western Westmoreland Municipal Authority to hike sewage fee by 25%
The Western Westmoreland Municipal Authority's quarterly sewage rate will increase by nearly 25 percent next year to help pay for the planning of treatment-plant upgrades that might cost tens of millions of dollars, the authority board's chairman said last week.
Starting in January, the quarterly WWMA services fees will rise by $15 to $76.05, meaning rates will have gone up by 45 percent since 2002. Overall charges vary depending on maintenance or other fees added to sewage bills by municipalities.
The authority serves all of Manor and part of Penn Township.
Chairman Chuck Konkus, who also serves as Manor Council's president, said the board had to inflate the rates to help pay for state-mandated improvements to eliminate the release of untreated but diluted wastewater into Brush Creek.
“We were just tearing that budget apart to see if there was any wiggle room in there,” Konkus said.
The new revenue will go toward the costs of design and engineering a solution for the discharges. Other entities, including the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority, also are working on similar plans to significantly reduce or eliminate discharges during heavy rains.
WWMA officials said they haven't settled on a plan, but they have scheduled a Dec. 10 meeting with elected officials from the six member communities to review their options.
In recent months, board members have discussed constructing storage tanks to collect overflows, then slowly release the wastewater into the plant for treatment.
Another option is to increase the size of the sewage system's interceptor lines.
Konkus estimated a project could cost between $35 million and $50 million.
WWMA General Manager Kevin Fisher said the authority is required by the end of the year to submit a report for the state Department of Environmental Protection. The design phase could begin in March for a tentative scheduled that could lead to the solicitation of bids in July 2014, he said.
The authority likely will have to rely on a municipal bond issue , funding through Pennsylvania Infrastructure and Investment Authority, or both, for the project because of the lack of available grant money, Fisher said.
“The wet-weather issues are major concerns to (the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) and DEP, and they have to be addressed,” he said. “Every community is taking the brunt of it, unfortunately.”
Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400 ext. 8671 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Reagan shooter Hinckley closer to permanent freedom
- Crosby’s 2 goals lift Penguins past Rangers, even series
- Steelers won’t be backed into a corner at NFL Draft
- Use of multiple contractors could leave oil, gas operators open to hackers
- Fights reported, shots fired outside Monroeville Mall restaurant
- Marte jump-starts Pirates in win over Brewers
- Crosby says Edmonton would be good spot for prospective top pick McDavid
- Starkey: Taylor’s type fading away
- Sutter steps up for Penguins in series-tying victory
- Lawsuit: Pittsburgh Public Schools should have known officer was abusing boys
- Coming off hill revives Seton Hill University, downtown Greensburg