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Carroll Township sewerage rates on the increase

CARROLL TOWNSHIP - There is good news and bad news for township residents in terms of monthly sewage bills.

The bad news is that rates — about which the township has for years complained are too steep — are rising again.

The Municipal Authority of the City of Monongahela recently adopted its budget for 2011, and the fiscal plan includes a 23 percent increase for Carroll Township Authority customers.

MACM treats sewage for 80 percent of Carroll Township Authority's customers.

The increase is from $4.97 per thousand gallons treated to $6.11 per thousand.

That translates to a $4 spike in the monthly minimum fee in Carroll - from $63 to $67.

The increase will be evident in the next round of bills sent to Carroll Township customers.

The good news for township customers?

The two sewage authorities have begun preliminary discussions on renegotiating their contract, which is not slated to expire until 2018.

"We are in talks with Monongahela Sewage Authority about another contract," CTA Chairman Rich Kuppelweiser said.

Don Devore, MACM chairman, acknowledged the talks.

"Hopefully (the talks) will help the residents and benefit both communities," Devore said.

Kuppelweiser said Carroll Township has also been speaking with other municipalities about a future sewage contract - in the event a deal cannot be reached with Monongahela.

"We can't break our contract," said Kuppelweiser, adding he is hopeful a more reasonable agreement for his customers will be reached.

The contract between Carroll Township and Monongahela has been in existence since the late 1970s, according to Carroll Township officials.

The two authorities, at times, have sparred over rates charged to Carroll customers.

Kuppelweiser said he is not happy with the increase, and said he hopes that something can be done to change it.

"We tentatively approved our 2011 budget with the increase in it," he said. "No one likes to see an increase, especially one that high."

In correspondence from Monongahela to Carroll Township announcing the intention to increase the rate, MACM said it was increasing the rates to city customers by approximately 15 percent as well.

Mon Valley Sewage, in Donora, also services a portion of Carroll Township customers.

Kuppelweiser said 80 percent of the township is serviced by Monongahela and 20 percent is serviced by Mon Valley Sewage Authority.

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