BP approves sewage rate increase

Published Sep 10, 2013 at 4:18 pm (Updated Sep 10, 2013 at 4:18 pm)

At its Sept. 9th council meeting, Bethel Park approved a proposal to raise sewage rates.

The current monthly service charge of $10 per premise will be increased to $13 a month beginning in November. The $6.34 fee for every 1,000 gallons of water used will be raised in increments over the next year. Beginning in November, that rate will be raised to $7. In May 2014, the price per 1,000 gallons would be $7.40, with that rate being increased to $7.60 in November 2014, according to Joe Villella, finance director.

The motion to increase sewer rates was approved by a vote of 7-1. Councilman Jack Allen was absent. Councilman Don Harrison cast the dissenting vote. He had tried unsuccessfully to have the plan amended to have the rate increase begin in January instead of November.

Municipal officials said the increase was necessitated by several factors including upgrades to the sewer system because of the ALCOSAN consent decree and the decrease in sewer fee revenue.

Earlier this year, council approved a $26 million bond issue to finance upgrades to the sewage treatment plant the municipality shares with South Park Township

Council President Tim Moury said water usage is down and the municipality received $400,000 less than the projected sewage revenue last year.

“The (sewage fee) base rate has not been raised in several years,” Moury said.

The council president added that although the sewage rate is increasing municipal officials are projecting a 2014 budget with the only increase in the millage rate being the .34, which will be dedicated to the volunteer fire company. Voters approved that increase through a referendum in the May primary.

Council is expected to approve the budget at its November meeting.

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