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Oakmont authority to handle Verona's water, sewer billing

| Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, 1:07 a.m.

Verona Council approved a contract Tuesday night that hands over water and sewer service billing to Oakmont Water Authority.

The borough previously used the Allegheny County Sanitation Authority (Alcosan) to bill for sewage service, but realized that residents were not being notified about delinquent payments.

There will not be a rate increase for residents. Alcosan is raising it billing service rates 11 percent next year. Verona has always used Oakmont Water Authority for water bills.

The agreement with Oakmont will allow the authority to begin collecting delinquent accounts, and to begin billing residents for both water and sewer for at least one year.

Councilman Pat McCarthy acknowledged that some residents will be hit initially with high payments of delinquent accounts. When some residents sold a home they were being notified of past due payments that had accrued late fees they may not have been aware of.

“This way, people will see it all right there,” he said.

Council also voted to move forward with sending letters to owners of abandoned properties.

The letters will notify owners that if they don't bring their properties up to borough code or come forward, the borough will take court action.

The borough can come after the owner's personal assets.

The borough's fee schedule has also been updated, resulting in some fee increases for some zoning permits and applications.

The fees have not been updated for some time, so council surveyed surrounding municipalities and adopted the average of those municipalities fees.

Kate Wilcox is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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