Apollo residents' sanitary, stormwater user fee to rise
Apollo residents will have to ride out another increase in the borough's sanitary and stormwater user fee.
The quarterly fee could increase by as much as nearly 30 percent, from $28 to $36, because borough officials did not know that a $500,000 low-interest loan for the borough's sewer separation project must be repaid over 20 years.
Officials believed the term on the loan from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure and Investment Authority, commonly known as PennVEST, was 30 years.
Council had increased the fee from $12 to $28 to cover payments on a $1 million loan that was taken out to pay for repairs to the old combined system, now a storm sewer, and costs incurred when other utility lines were damaged during the work.
The bulk of the separation project's cost was paid for with $7 million in state grant funding.
Borough Engineer Rich Craft said a 30-year loan at one time had been discussed, but the borough then believed it would cover the cost entirely with grant money.
When bids came in over the amount of grant funding available, the borough went back to PennVEST for a loan.
And that's when the term changed, he said.
The change will increase the borough's monthly payment on the loan.
Solicitor Chuck Pascal asked how it is that nobody knew the term.
Craft said he was not aware and that those who would be are no longer in office or employed by the borough.
Council President David Heffernan said it's not known when council would act on increasing the fee or when residents would begin receiving higher bills.
“We got to recalculate,” he said. “It's going to go up.”
Another mistake was made as to when the borough was supposed to begin repaying the PennVEST loan, Craft said, but that error was made by PennVEST.
The agency discovered it should have begun billing the borough on the loan in May 2011, but that didn't happen, Craft said.
Rather than paying the missed payments, council chose an available option to delay payments as long as possible. The borough will not have to begin paying on the loan until 2015, Craft said.
That would be a year after Apollo closes out its sewer project, which can't be done until all sewer diversions to the Kiski River are closed.
That can't be done until Kiski Township finishes its own separation project, Craft said.
Borough residents hit by flooding in late August complained to council about clogged drains and a creek, Sugar Hollow, filled with silt and debris.
Councilman Darhl Goldinger said the borough will clean drains in the area of North 11th Street and elsewhere and asked residents who know of clogged public drains to report them.
The borough will clean drains on private property, he said.
The borough will contact state and federal officials about what can be done to clear the creek.
Low-interest loans for residents and business owners who sustained damage from flooding between Aug. 28 and Sept. 3 are available from the Small Business Administration.
Brian C. Rittmeyer 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.
- Judge lets New Kensington Ten Commandments monument stand
- Woman ‘critical’ from fall on Harmar riverbank
- Harrison residents want answers to flooding concerns
- Burrell considers renovating former weight room
- Memorial court dedicated at AVH where volunteer felt ‘safe, comfortable’
- Freeport to address sewage bill deadbeats
- Active-shooter drill at Deer Lakes High ‘empowers’ educators
- Crash ties up traffic at Routes 380 and 286 in Murrysville
- Zelienople development to be inclusive of those with autism
- Arnold teen accused of stealing Ferrari
- ‘Wax weed’ worries authorities