ShareThis Page
News

Utility boils down paperwork, combines water bills into one

| Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2001

Beginning Feb. 1, residents of Homestead will have just one check to write and mail for water and wastewater services instead of two.

Previously, residents received two separate bills for these services - a monthly bill from Pennsylvania-American Water Co. for water service and a quarterly bill from the borough for wastewater service.

Pennsylvania-American has agreed to provide monthly wastewater billing for the borough, in addition to the monthly water billing the utility has provided.

'The program benefits all parties involved,' said Robert W. Freeston, vice president and treasurer of Pennsylvania-American. 'It's cost-effective for Homestead, and it will be an added convenience for customers.

'With Pennsylvania-American doing the billing for both water and wastewater services, customers can expect more efficiency,' Freeston said. 'One bill - sent monthly - will cover the both services.'

Homestead Mayor Betty Esper said she is in favor of greater efficiency.

'What's more, it should be easier for borough residents to budget since they can now count on a monthly bill for wastewater. Better budgeting can be an asset for those on fixed incomes,' Esper said.

Interim Borough Manager Shirley Kuchta said the new system will make it 'simpler for residents and the borough office clerks.'

Kuchta said the cost to implement the new system will be 55 cents, and the borough has 1,400 customers.

Kuchta said currently the borough incurs the cost of printing and mailing the bills.

'It will be more cost-effective to do this and beneficial for the borough and residents,' Kuchta said.

Council plans to schedule a special meeting later this month to amend the borough ordinance allowing for the new billing system, the interim borough manager said.

Last year, 15 municipalities entered into agreement with Pennsylvania-American to do their wastewater billing and collection.

Company officials said having both charges on the bill will allow customers to take advantage of the company's new Easy Pay program, allowing customers to pay their bills by credit card over the phone or computer. Customers also can make automatic payments from checking accounts, and those on fixed incomes can arrange for flexible billing dates.

To obtain more information about the new billing arrangement, residents can call Pennsylvania-American's customer service center at 1 (800) 474-7292.

Karen Zapf can be reached at kzapf@tribweb.com or (412) 380-8522.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me