Share This Page

Connellsville authority keeps sewage rates same

| Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Connellsville residents will not pay higher monthly bills for sewage next year.

The Connellsville Municipal Authority voted Tuesday night to adopt a 2014 proposed $1.6 million budget that includes a $275,775 shortfall.

Even though the spending plan is in the red, authority member and treasurer Rod Gunderson said the authority will not have to raise its monthly rates.

“We plan to use money out of our surplus account to balance the budget,” Gunderson said.

Kim Petko, the authority's office manager, said the proposed budget includes $506,000 for special projects next year.

One of the special projects is monitoring of the authority's combined sewage overflow, or CSO, which is required by the Pennsylvania Department of Environment Protection under the Clean Water Act.

Authority members do not have a cost estimate for the CSO monitoring yet because Widmer Engineering is still in the process of developing specifications for the professional services.

Doug Coffman, engineer with Widmer Engineering, said it will not be necessary for the authority to solicit bids for the monitoring project.

“This falls under the category of professional services, so a bidding process will not be required,” Coffman said.

Petko said an additional $215,000 is earmarked in next year's budget for the South Arch Street Bridge project. PennDOT is expected to pick up half of the project cost, while the authority will be responsible for the remaining 50 percent.

In other business, Petko said an estimated 700 sewage authority customers did not receive bills last month because of problems related to a new billing system implemented by the Pennsylvania American Water Co.

“We just want to let our customers know about the billing problems,” Petko said. “We're working with the water company to correct the mistake. Customers who did not receive bills will be receiving them as soon as possible. We want our customers to remain patient while we work out this issue.”

Cindy Ekas is a contributing writer.

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.