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Water shutoff threatened for delinquent Whitaker residents

Michael DiVittorio
| Thursday, May 15, 2014, 12:06 a.m.

About 80 Whitaker residents will have their water shut off by the end of the month because of delinquent sewage bills.

“Some of them owe so much, if they pay $300, they're just paying the penalties,” Councilman Richard Lassige said at Wednesday evening's council meeting.

Borough sewage billing is through Pennsylvania Municipal Service Co. based on water usage. Water bills are separate through Pennsylvania American Water Co.

ALCOSAN charges the borough quarterly for sewage. The bills from Pennsylvania Municipal Service Co. cover the ALCOSAN and borough fees. The borough still is responsible to pay ALCOSAN's surcharges if customers do not pay their sewage bill.

Pennsylvania American Water Co. will shut off water service on behalf of the borough for the unpaid sewage bills.

Lassige announced the borough has $33,000 in outstanding sewage accounts.

He said some delinquent sewage bills date back to November 2012.

“These people haven't paid for a year or two. It's not (just) a couple months,” Lassige said.

Some residents already received shutoff notices on their doors.

Customers can contact Pennsylvania Municipal Service Co. at 800-828-5586 to make payment arrangements and avoid service disruption.

Council approved the following actions:

• Accepted the resignation of part-time patrolman Mike Benninghoff. He took a job in another municipality.

• Approved a resolution supporting the Community Development Block Grant program and increasing its funding.

• Approved a resolution supporting the Mon/Fayette Expressway project.

• Approved settling a grievance filed by part-time officer Jeffrey Stinebiser concerning payment of a uniform allowance for this year. Stinebiser was a few hours short of the requirements for the $325 uniform allowance. The police committee recommended the settlement because he missed those hours being on workers compensation for months.

• Accepted the $420 bid from Mac's Towing for the scrapping of the obsolete 2004 Chevrolet Impala police vehicle.

• Approved advertising for police officers. Council would like to hire three officers.

• Appointed Lassige as an unpaid deputy code enforcement officer to attend hearings on behalf of the code enforcement officer.

• Approved a $45,250 payment from the Sewage Surcharge Fund to Tri-State Grouting for significant deficiency repairs to the borough's sewer system.

Whitaker Community Cares will host meetings this Thursday, May 29 and June 12 at 7 p.m. at the borough building to prepare for Community Day.

Community Day is June 21 from noon to 10 p.m. in Whitaker Park.

Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or mdivittorio@tribweb.com.

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