Kiski Valley sewage authority disputes claims of lax billing | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

Kiski Valley sewage authority disputes claims of lax billing

Mary Ann Thomas
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Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
The Kiski Valley Water Pollution Control Authority denies allegations that it doesn’t collect on delinquent accounts and warns that it will vigorously defend itself against a lawsuit.

After Allegheny Township decided to hire an attorney to go after the Kiski Valley Water Pollution Control Authority for billing issues, the authority issued a statement accusing the township of attempting to “thwart the legislative process” of the 13-member community authority.

In response to Allegheny Township’s allegations of being remiss in collecting delinquent sewage bills, the authority asserted that it has nearly a 96% collection rate, according to a prepared statement.

“Allegations that the authority does not pursue delinquencies from other communities is inaccurate,” the statement said.

Leslie J. Mlakar, a Greensburg attorney hired by Allegheny Township to handle a possible suit against the authority, declined to make a comment “at this time” on the authority’s statement.

The billing issue boiled over this month when Allegheny Township Supervisor Joe Ferguson, who sits on the township’s own sewage authority, claimed the Kiski Valley authority does not go after delinquencies from the other communities. Ferguson said that amounts to lost revenue.

Allegheny, Parks and Gilpin townships each do their own billing for sewage service. They pay the authority what the township owes each quarter, resulting in few delinquencies, Ferguson said.

The other 10 authority member communities prefer to let the authority do billing for them.

Ferguson asserted that the authority “has been carrying all these municipalities’ debt.” To solve the billing issue, Allegheny Township supervisors agreed to hire Mlakar to represent the township in possible legal action against the authority.

But the authority said in its statement it doesn’t think legal action is the solution.

Given the meetings among representatives from all 13 member communities, the billing matter “has never been called upon for a vote to change billing practices,” according to the statement.

Additionally, the authority board, made up of officials from each member community, is up for “continued discussion and for an open vote on any issues that are deemed appropriate by Allegheny Township or any other member representative.”

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-226-4691, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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