Richland residents will soon see hike in sewer bill
Some Richland residents will soon begin to feel the impact of scheduled improvements both to Hampton Township’s Allison Park Water Pollution Control Plant and the Allegheny Valley Joint Sewer Authority plant.
The board of supervisors approved ordinances setting the capital improvement charges that will be felt by customers of both facilities at their Jan. 16 meeting.
Customers in the Willow Run and Crouse Run watersheds serviced by Hampton’s plant will see an increase from $3 per month to $10.50 per month, which was effective Jan. 1. The service charge will then increase by $7.50 per month over the next three years to $18 per month in 2020, $25.50 per month in 2021 and $33 per month in 2022. “By agreement, it’s necessary for us to adopt this ordinance and start to impose those fees on our customers with usage that began on Jan. 1 of this year,” township Manager Dean Bastianini said.
Hampton’s plant was built in 1971, last updated in 1991 and will cost about $45 million to upgrade. Richland contributes about 14 percent to the overall flow to that plant.
The township contributes about 20 percent of the flow to the Allegheny Valley plant via customers in the Deer Creek watershed, and while upgrades to that facility are estimated at $69.5 million, that figure could change.
Richland initially considered a fee schedule that mirrored Hampton’s, beginning with a $7.50 per month charge for single-family residential customers in 2019 and increasing by that same amount over the next four years in anticipation of needing to pay the township’s share of the upgrades.
However, Supervisor Bart Miller suggested that because they are dealing with an unknown, the fee be lowered for the first two years.
The board approved an ordinance that will impose a fee of $6 per month for residential customers in 2019, increasing to $12 per month in 2020. They will then readjust if necessary. Commercial customers and those who don’t fall into the single-family residential category could be charged more depending on water usage.
“The plant won’t be online for at least four years, so we’re doing this in advance,” Bastianini told the supervisors. “They may be out to bid at this time next year and that’s when we’d be deciding how we’re going to obtain our financing. But by putting the money in the bank now we’re starting to step up the increases that we know are coming. It’s just a matter of how much and what phasing the board is comfortable with.”
Just under 3,000 Richland customers are serviced by the Allegheny Valley plant, most of them residential, and slightly more than 1,000 are serviced by Hampton.
Karen Price is a