Monroeville cracking down on those who have not paid their MS4 fees
Monroeville property owners who have not paid the municipality’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System, or MS4, fee will get a delinquent letter mailed to them in November, warned officials in an Oct. 8 council meeting.
“There will be a delinquent letter going out Nov. 1 to those people who have not paid,” Manager Tim Little said during his 2020 budget presentation.
In a separate interview with the Tribune-Review, Little said there are 2,472 residential and 174 commercial property owners who have yet to pay into the newly-created program.
That means around 77% of 11,500 Monroeville properties are accounted for, generating $2.6 million for the program meant to fund various sediment and flood control projects throughout the municipality. Council expected the program to generate $3.2 million this year.
Council adopted the ordinance that gives municipal staff authority to levy fees to property owners in October 2018. Fees were determined by calculating a property’s “equivalent residential units,” or ERUs. One ERU is equivalent to 2,385 square feet.
The ordinance granted all property owners a 2% discount if the fee was paid by March 31, but only for 2019. Starting in January, a 10% late fee will be charged if the assessment is not paid by June 30. A 10% late fee will continue to accrue for every year the fee is late, according to the ordinance.
Little declined to provide further details about the delinquency letters.
Residential property owners will face a fee of $120 every year, while those who own vacant property will be charged a flat fee of $30.
Owners of larger properties were assessed individually to calculate how many ERUs are present. The Monroeville Mall was assessed over $200,000, while the Gateway School District was assessed nearly $92,000.
Both of those entities were included in a pool of property owners who filed appeals to their MS4 assessments earlier this year. Monroeville had 61 such appeals filed this year.
Little said the majority of the appeals have been resolved. However, cases involving the mall and the school district have yet to reach final decisions, according to court records.
In the mall’s case, court records indicate Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Judge Robert Colville ordered the parties to meet for a status conference scheduled for July 30. It is unclear if the conference occurred.
Stephen Matzura of McNees Wallace & Nurick in Harrisburg, the mall’s attorney, declined to comment.
The last action taken in the school district’s case, taken on Oct. 22, granted West Allegheny School District, located in White Oak Borough, to act as intervenors in the case.
AIU’s Sunrise School in Monroeville also was granted to be intervenors in the case.
Cornell School District, located in Coraopolis, and Coraopolis Water and Sewer Authority were granted to be interested parties in the case.
Chelsea Dice, of Bruce Dice and Associates, is representing Gateway School District. The attorney was not immediately available to comment.
Monroeville-based Fahringer, McCarty, Grey Inc. was hired for the designing at a price not to exceed $36,900.
Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, [email protected] or via Twitter .