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Policy issues the focus for Mt. Pleasant Municipal Authority

| Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

As the Mt. Pleasant Municipal Authority moves out of the construction phase and into the administrative phase of the Norvelt sewerage project, the board is turning its attention to policy.

Chuck Zelenak of CZ Survey and Land Development of West Newton addressed the board this week on behalf of a client who plans to build a home on Arbor Lane in Norvelt.

“The intent right now is he's going to cut off the little house that's there and build a new house,” Zelenak said. “How do we tap in?”

Authority Engineer Dan Schmitt of Gibson-Thomas Engineering Co. Inc. of Latrobe told the board he recommends a monthly meeting be established to address such concerns.

“We're in the same boat with Subway. We need to set up policies, and there is a need to set up a monthly meeting with Les (Mlakar), Stacey (Hayes), myself and a couple board members where people representing new development can come in to talk with us to find out what they need to do to,” Schmitt said.

Regarding another policy issue, the board decided that as of Jan. 1, the authority will accept only checks, credit cards, money orders and cashier's checks as payment for services.

Vice President Charles Naggy said the change is being made to protect employees.

“This way, we can post a sign that there is no cash on the premises,” Treasurer James Genard said.

Hayes said the authority sent out 99 water shutoff notices to delinquent customers, and 70 of those customers will be posted. The board discussed contracting representatives to post shutoff notices. Those contracted will be given laminated identification badges so customers will know they are official representatives of the authority.

Hayes said 22 customers were turned in to the district judge for not tapping in. Of those, 10 will be brought before the magistrate on Dec. 16.

Naggy said the overall picture looks very bright, with only a 7 percent nonpayment rate.

The proposed 2014 budget was given to the board for review. President Jerome Yasher told the board it is a “zero budget” that was put together and reviewed by an outside certified public accountant and the board's officers.

“The budget was made up at keeping the rate at $52, and that would be great if for the third year in a row we would be able to keep it at $52,” Yasher said.

The 2014 budget will be voted on at the authority's next meeting, which will be held on Dec. 17 because of the Christmas holiday.

In other business, the board decided to have a phone installed at the pump station for safety reasons. As a result of a meeting with West Penn Power about power issues, the plant will have an electrical engineer look at putting or adjusting delays on the emergency generators there.

Linda Harkcom is a contributing writer.

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