Share This Page

Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County raises fees by 400 percent

| Thursday, March 20, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

The Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County board voted on Wednesday to increase a service fee by 400 percent.

The authority will charge $50 to shut off water service to third-party customers who are delinquent paying their sewage bills to other municipal utilities. It will cost $50 to restore service, too.

Last year, the authority shut off water to about 870 delinquent sewer customers, which generated more than $17,000. The increase means revenue from the fee could reach $87,000 in the next fiscal year.

For years, the authority charged $10 to shut off water at the request of other sewage authorities and $10 to turn the water back on for a delinquent customer who paid a bill in full.

“That was the amount we originally put in there, and we never changed it,” said Chris Kerr, manager of the Westmoreland authority.

Officials said the county authority is required to shut off water at the request of a local sewer utility. The shut-off fees are collected by the local sewage authorities and paid to the Westmoreland authority.

“We have to do it because it's the law,” Kerr said.

Kerr said the increased shut-off fee for third-party customers is identical to the amount the authority charges its own customers to discontinue service for delinquent water bills.

That amount has been $50 for a number of years, Kerr said.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293.

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.