Rate hike likely needed to pay for WWMA work, Penn commissioners told
The Western Westmoreland Municipal Authority board likely will have to approve incremental rate increases to help pay for a state-mandated $56-million project, the board's vice president told Penn Township commissioners Monday.
Though the authority's directors have not finalized the potential increases, WWMA Vice President Chuck Konkus estimated the charges could add $5 to $10 per month to the base sewage charge.
“That (project) price tag's not going to go anywhere,” Konkus said. “We're going to have to find a way to pay for it one way or another.”
The state Department of Environmental Protection is requiring the authority to upgrade equipment at the Brush Creek Plant in North Huntingdon to eliminate the discharges of untreated wastewater during heavy rains.
Those who are served by the Brush Creek plant pay a base fee of $25.35 per month. The plant's service area includes about 4,800 homes in Penn Township and 1,300 homes in Manor.
The authority has until November to complete designs for the replacement of most of the sewage lines that feed into the Brush Creek plant and the construction of a new sewage storage tank.
Konkus also told township commissioners that the authority board is continuing negotiations with the authority's union members, whose contract expired in October 2011. He said authority officials are “holding firm, but fair” with the employees, who are working under the provisions of the last contract.
“The way I look at it right now, we're in a pay freeze,” Konkus said.
Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or email@example.com.
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 â 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.