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Upper Allegheny Joint Sanitary Authority customers to get $1-a-month rate increase

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By George Guido
Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, 1:01 a.m.
 

Upper Allegheny Joint Sanitary Authority customers will get a 6 percent rate increase, or $1 a month, starting Jan. 1.

The authority on Tuesday night passed a $2.7 million budget for next year that will raise the typical usage rate from $18 to $19 monthly for the first 2,000 gallons of usage.

Those using more than 2,000 gallons per month will have their bills rise 5 percent, from $4.75 per additional 1,000 gallons to $5.

There also is a $5 monthly surcharge. That's for projects related to the federal decree to separate sewage pipes from stormwater pipes.

Capital projects for 2013 include upgrading the filter press to remove sludge at the authority's East Deer treatment plant at a cost of $650,000. The current filter press is 21 years old.

The other project will get a new blower for the clarifier at the plant for $170,000.

“All said, the plant is in pretty good shape for its age,” said authority engineer Ed Schmitt of Gibson-Thomas Engineering in the firm's 50th annual report to the authority board.

Engineers also have to deal with five manholes that are underwater adjacent to the authority's Bull Creek pump station.

In other business

• Tarentum Councilman Mike Gutonski attended Tuesday's meeting to discuss the borough council's concerns regarding a $4,000 bill sent by the authority for water usage at Riverview Memorial Park's spray park this past summer.

The spray park, which proved to be an immediate hit with Tarentum children, replaced the so-called Snoopy wading pool.

The authority never charged Tarentum Borough for the Snoopy pool water use.

Now, with more usage at the spray park, the authority billed Tarentum $4,000 for last summer.

No water meter exists at the spray park, so the authority billed Tarentum based on an estimate determined by similar equipment described on an Internet site.

The authority agreed to meet soon with Gutonski and another councilman to discuss the bill and subsequent late charges.

• The authority board said goodbye to member Edward Dobrzynski, who attended his final meeting as East Deer's representative on the board.

No replacement has been made.

George Guido is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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