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Sutersville Sewickley authority could be out $10,000

Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

The Sutersville Sewickley Municipal Sewage Authority could lose more than $10,000 in revenue from liens it placed on three properties in Sutersville, if the tax-delinquent parcels are sold in a Westmoreland County tax sale that releases the buyer from paying those liens.

The Westmoreland County Tax Claim Bureau notified the authority that it would seek to sell three properties, free and clear of the liens totaling $10,908, said Lois Brandstetter, authority secretary.

“Those (liens) claims have been on there forever,” Brandstetter said.

Richard Schimizzi, authority solicitor, said the board does not know if the properties have been sold in a tax sale held last week.

In other business, the authority was hit with a $1,550 electric bill for service for one month on its office on Curry Road, which prompted the authority to cancel its electric supply agreement last month.

The board said it has notified West Penn Power Co. in Greensburg it wants to cancel its agreement with Blue Pilot Energy LLC of Las Vegas, an electric service provider. West Penn Power told the authority it would become the authority's electric provider beginning with the first meter reading following March 20.

George Hebert, authority treasurer, said the electric bill for the office typically is less than $100.

The authority office is only open about 25 hours a week, Brandstetter said.

Blue Pilot Energy offers its customers a variable rate plan, meaning its rates can vary month-to-month.

Tanya McCloskey, Pennsylvania's acting consumer advocate for the Office of Consumer Advocate, testified before the Senate consumer protection committee last week that her office has received more than 2,600 telephone calls and responded to more than 200 letters and emails about the variable rate plans.

Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or 724-836-5252.

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