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Washington Township Residents Say Don’t Change Sewer Billing
Written by Allison Czapp, Correspondent
2017-11-22

            Several Washington Township residents on November 16 urged supervisors to reverse a decision to shift water and billing to a calendar-year cycle. The current quarterly billing cycle runs December to November.

            Last month, supervisors approved a motion to change the cycle to January to December, bringing the township's billing cycle in line with those in surrounding areas. However, the shift requires a one-time, four-month billing cycle.

            Resident John Wynn told supervisors that the decision would have three consequences. First, he said, the quarterly payments are now scheduled around the sewer debt repayment schedule, so changing the billing cycle would cause a "cash flow interruption." Secondly, Wynn said, the current schedule provides an extra month to collect late sewer payments by the end of the borough's fiscal year. Lastly, he said the change is just too confusing for residents already facing high sewer and water bills.

            Resident John Chrisman echoed Wynn's comments. "It's still $115 more than what people typically pay," he said of the upcoming four-month billing cycle. "No matter how it's explained, people are not going to understand it. … It's going to be very unsettling."

            Supervisors noted that cash flow would not be an issue because the borough has close to $1 million for sewer funds in reserve. Supervisor David Moyer was quick to point out that the money did not represent a surplus, as the sewer authority is still $11 million in debt.

            Supervisors also said that residents will have an extra month to make their December-March payment.

            In the end, the board decided to stay with their previous decision for a 13-month billing cycle in 2018.

            In other business, Township Manager Richard Sichler announced that the high bid for the borough's dump truck came in at $26,300. The estimated trade-in price for the truck was $8,000. Sichler credited the borough workers for keeping the truck properly maintained. 

            Sichler also said that early problems with the timing of the new traffic light at Route 100 and Barto Road have been resolved. He described the lights as being "chock full of sensitive electronics," adding that the borough will need a special inverter-style generators to power the light in cases of emergency.

            Council held an executive session prior to the meeting to discuss litigation related to a developer's failure to pay sewer non-connect fees. Officials said they have been working on a settlement with the developer.  "We're close," Township Solicitor Dan Becker said of an agreement.

            The Washington Township Board of Supevisors will meet next on December 21, 7 p.m. Among the business supervisors plan to take up is voting on the 2018 budget.


 

 

 

 

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