Franklin Township Municipal Sanitary Authority fee 'ridiculous,' Export mayor says
The mayor of Export said he will fight a proposal by the Franklin Township Municipal Sanitary Authority to levy a new monthly fee on customers.
Mayor Michael Calder said he is opposed to the proposal, which authority manager Jim Brucker said would fund future equipment replacement. If approved by the authority board this spring, customers would pay an additional $3 per month.
“This fee would be a great disservice to everybody,” Calder said. “This is a ridiculous idea to offset frivolous spending.”
Export officials have criticized Brucker and the authority for the purchase of an “egg digester,” a 750,000-gallon egg-shaped sewage digester that enabled the authority to process more waste. The controversial project was completed in 2004, but it was several years before the authority was able to begin using the digester.
Calder said that project proved that Brucker and the authority can't be trusted with undertaking these types of projects.
“He blew a multimillion dollar project that has yet to really make a penny,” Calder said. “That egg digester was a joke and a waste.”
In a memo to Murrysville officials last month — the authority is chartered through the municipality — Brucker explained that the proceeds of the fee would be reserved for replacement of existing equipment only. During the next 20 years, Brucker expects the authority to need to spend $16 million on those replacements, including $4.1 million in 2013. The authority needs to replace about $3 million worth of sewer piping next year, according to authority documents.
Brucker said the authority isn't raising its base rate for 2013; it will remain at $29.27 per household, lowest in the region. The average rate is $46.11, he said.
“This asset management plan … will help prevent future borrowing and substantial rate increases in the future,” Brucker wrote.
Calder said he won't support a new fee, given the authority's track record with projects.
“I am a dollars-and-cents conservative, and I think officials should be able custodians and watchdogs for that money,” Calder said.
The authority board has not set a date for a vote on the proposed fee.
Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.