New Kensington authority admits error, agrees to prorate bills
By Jodi Weigand
Published: Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
The Municipal Sanitary Authority of New Kensington has resolved a billing issue that caused what one landlord referred to as “double billing” for one quarter on a single rental property.
On Monday, authority Manager Daniel Rowe notified the board that he reviewed the authority's decades-old bill regulations and discovered that the authority should be prorating for bills that cover less than a month or less than a quarter.
Since January, Pennsylvania Municipal Service (PAMS) of Oakmont has been doing the authority's billing. The company had not been instructed to prorate partial quarters, Rowe said.
Previously, the Municipal Authority of the City of New Kensington, which regulates water service, billed for both services.
“I think they must have been prorating in the past,” Rowe said. “That's why we're getting these calls.”
The issue came to light when Rhonda Russell of Frazer, who has rental properties in New Kensington, questioned authority board members and Rowe about two bills she received when she put the sewage bill in her name after her tenant moved out seven days before the quarter was over.
Russell said she was charged the standard quarterly rate of $111, plus a $115 security deposit, after her tenant paid his final bill — already settling what was owed for the quarter.
“They're getting a windfall for people moving in and out,” Russell said.
The issue could also occur for homeowners selling their properties, but landlords with transient tenants noticed the change right away, said Don Ryan, president of the Alle-Kiski Valley Landlord Association.
“It's clearly not fair,” he said.
At first, board members and Rowe told Russell that's simply how the billing works when the account changes names and a new account number is created.
“I just didn't look back far enough,” Rowe told board members Monday.
Rowe said he has instructed PAMS to prorate partial bills. He said the bills will be calculated by day using the standard $111 quarterly fee.
He said if someone contacts the authority, the staff will work to correct any bills that should have been prorated.
Pipe to be repaired
Rowe also announced that the authority plans to spend $12,900 to repair about 460 feet of pipe on Leechburg Road in front of the Kings Family Restaurant and Walgreens.
Rowe said the section of pipe has been damaged slightly due to road work and the construction of the plaza where Walgreens is located.
The repairs will be done overnight and no excavation will be needed. The authority plans to use a rehabilitation method called cured-in-place-pipe, in which a sock-like tube is pulled through the pipe, then steam or water is used to expand the liner and cure it in place.
The method makes a resin lining on the inner side of the pipe.
Rowe said he hopes to have the repairs complete in about a week.
“It's a very sensitive area and I want it taken care of,” he said.
Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
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.
- Allegheny Township officials seek more support for waterline project
- Deer Creek to come clean
- Deer Creek mine discharge project should be wrapped up by late spring
- Kiski Township Zoning Board OKs Verizon’s 19-story cellphone tower
- Saxonburg Dollar General to move, expand
- Leechburg Road closed until 5 a.m. Friday
- Verizon to build cellphone tower in Kiski Township
- 4 men to stand trial for home invasion, shooting in Lower Burrell
- Student artwork covers walls of Harmar Township Municipal Building
- Leechburg biology teacher earned students’ respect
- State grants to help Leechburg Area schools with security