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Sewage payments from Export residents no longer accepted at bank

| Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Export residents no longer will be able to pay their sewage bill at First Commonwealth Bank branch on Kennedy Avenue after April 1.

Borough council members Barry Delissio, Dave Pascuzzi, Stanley Mahinske and Melanie Litz voted Feb. 5 to end the program, which charges the borough a minimum of $100 in monthly fees. Clay Soles, Lou McQuaide and John Nagoda were absent.

Council revised the agreement with the bank in October to enable residents to continue to pay their bill at the bank, which received a $1 processing fee. But because only 60 people paid at the bank in December and 65 paid there in January, the municipality had to pay the bank $40 and $35, respectively, those months to meet the $100 minimum required for the service.

By paying the difference, council members said, the borough was losing money by offering the service.

It used to be that about 250 people would pay monthly through the bank, sewage secretary Marlene Mahinske said last week. Bills no longer state that paying at the bank is an option, she said.

Delinquent bills

Export officials now have received about $31,600 worth of delinquent sewage bills since October.

That's about 42 percent of the outstanding payments that borough officials were trying to collect, Marlene Mahinske said last week.

Council imposed a $25 late fee and threatened the shut-off of water service in recent months to encourage customers to pay off their late fees.

Officials also implemented an exoneration program that forgave 10 percent of bills that were $500 or greater, as long as customers adhere to a repayment plan.

“We have to take a position on this to be effective in collecting the bill,” Solicitor Wes Long said.

Playground patrols

State police haven't recorded a lot of crime happening in Export recently, but they plan to increase patrols of the borough playground in the spring because of vandalism and loitering complaints last year, the commander of the Kiski Valley barracks said.

Police will conduct the extra patrols during evening and weekend hours, Sgt. Ryan Maher said.

Overall, police had 208 calls for service in Export last year among the 5,216 they handled through the station.

In the eight weeks leading up to the Feb. 5 meeting, police handled 29 incidents from Export, but the only criminal reports were for three harassment cases, one simple assault and one theft.

“There's not a whole lot going down here, crime-wise, and that's a good thing,” Maher said.

Medic One donation?

Delissio said the board is considering giving Murrysville Medic One its first donation from the borough since 2008.

At that time, council gave the ambulance service $2,000, he said. Based on the percentage of calls the agency handles in the borough, the comparable donation could be as high as $5,000.

“That's a big one to pay off for us,” Delissio said.

Delissio suggested Council can consider a $2,000 donation at its March 5 meeting and talk about the possibility to donating more later.

Animal control

Council also postponed action to hire an animal-control officer until next month.

Officials want to review if there is an alternative to Delmont-based Hoffman Kennels. Some municipalities in the region took a more critical look at Hoffman's services after complaints.

Murrysville Council revised Hoffman's contract to require Hoffman him to keep a licensed dog for 10 days, twice as long as his prior contract.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400 ext. 8671 or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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