Arnold to aggressively pursue unpaid garbage, sewage bills |
Valley News Dispatch

Arnold to aggressively pursue unpaid garbage, sewage bills

Brian C. Rittmeyer

Arnold is going to get aggressive when it comes to collecting the money it is owed for city services.

The city is owed about $131,000 in unpaid garbage and sewage bills, City Clerk Mario Bellavia said.

Garbage collection costs $22 per month. Mayor Karen Peconi said residents not paying for city services is a problem, and she asked for residents to pay their bills.

Solicitor David Regoli said city officials have been meeting with its garbage and sewage bills collector, Pennsylvania Municipal Service about stepping up enforcement to get past-due bills paid.

That can include taking debtors to court and filing liens against properties, Regoli said.

Regoli said the city pays Pennsylvania Municipal Service to collect those bills, and the company should be taking action on the city’s behalf.

A representative of Pennsylvania Municipal Service could not be reached for comment.

On top of the unpaid garbage and sewage bills, Bellavia said the city is owed about $338,000 in unpaid property taxes.

Regoli said the city has ways to collect delinquent property taxes. Those who don’t pay their sewage bills can have their water shut off, which he said would result in a property being condemned because water is required.

“We’re going to take a very aggressive approach over the next couple of months,” Regoli said.

Bellavia painted a bleak picture of the city’s finances.

According to Bellavia, the city has $2.2 million in debt remaining from an original $3 million debt dating from 1990 and 2006 that won’t be paid in full until 2030.

He said the city will be required to borrow $1.8 million to pay for separating the city’s storm and sanitary sewers, which has been mandated to reduce overflows of untreated sewage into the river. That will take until 2040 to repay, Bellavia said.

Of the city’s 43.5-mill property tax rate, 18.5 mills goes toward debt payments, Bellavia said.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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