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Higher sewage rates take effect next month

| Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Manor residents will begin paying a higher sewage rate next year to help the borough pay off a 20-year $1.6 million loan for the sewage project.

Starting in January, most borough residents will pay a quarterly base rate of $108.54 for the first 3,000 gallons of water. That's an increase of $19.55.

Homeowners who are served by the Penn Township Sewage Authority pump station — including those in the Crimson Pointe plan and homes on Rowe Road — will pay $156.17 for the first 3,000 gallons, which is an increase of $21.80.

In those base rates, $20.04 will go toward the borough's debt service on the loan from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure and Investment Authority, or PENNVEST.

That amount will remain constant during the life of the loan.

Officials also adjusted the charges slightly after determining the borough's operational and maintenance costs and accounting for a decline in water consumption among sewage customers, borough manager Joe Lapia said.

Manor Council, which approved the new rates by a 6-0 vote last week, hired contractors this year for a state-mandated project that includes eliminating combined sanitary and storm-water lines and replacing other aging stormwater lines.

No tax increase

Council's $1.1 million budget for 2014 doesn't include an increase in the property-tax rate.

Council voted on Dec. 18 to keep the tax rate at 16.5 mills.

Grant application

Seeking to repair some of the worst roads in town, council agreed to apply for a $280,000 federal Community Development Block Grant, which is administered by Westmoreland County officials.

Engineer Ed Antonacci said the application would address Broadway Avenue, from Atlantic Avenue to Buster Avenue; Buster, from Race Street to Broadway; Race Street from Buster to Atlantic; and an 80-foot brick-lined portion of McElvey Street.

Lapia called the streets “the worst of the worst” and said they had been neglected for years because officials were waiting to work on the sewage project to begin rather than having to repair them twice.

“We just keep getting further and further behind,” Lapia said.

The borough would be required to match 15 percent of whatever amount county officials would choose to award.

New hire

Council hired Alicia Lamanna to work 25 hours a week as an administrative assistant.

Lamanna, whose first day on the new job was Monday, will be paid $14 an hour.

Board appointee

Former councilwoman Megan Gutkowski is replacing Mayor-elect Jeremy “J.R.” Dixon on the borough's civil service commission.

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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