New Castle News

September 27, 2012

Neshannock to raise sewer rates slightly

Nancy Lowry
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Neshannock Township sewer rates will be hiked by 35 cents per month beginning at the new October sewer billing cycle.

The increase covers the new billing charges.

This summer, the supervisors contracted with Software Solutions of Gibsonia to send sewer bills to township residents. The Pennsylvania-American Water Co. billed residents for water and sewer use since 2009, but notified the supervisors it would not do so after October. The new billing firm was hired in July.

The township also will lease-to-own two dump trucks for nearly the cost of one vehicle.

Accepting the low bid from U.S. Municipal Supply/Hunters, the township will lease two trucks for $52,181.46 per year for both trucks over a five-year period.

The lease will be paid from the $54,000 liquid fuels allocation the township receives each year from the county. This money must be used for equipment.

The supervisors also hired Cody Hosfelt of West Middlesex and Tom Jovenitti of Slippery Rock, each at $7.25 per hour, as temporary seasonal employees at Hess Ice Rink and Pearson Park, effective immediately. They are expected to work on weekends and evenings.

They also authorized attorney Joseph Linehan of Pittsburgh to discuss potential and current legal issues with the Lawrence County Economic Development Corp., and adopted a lock box ordinance for the fire department.

The supervisors reviewed and accepted the township’s 2011 financial statement.

Robert Izzo and Bill Hauser of Philip Weiner and Co. prepared and presented the document, which examines the township’s assets and debts of 2011. This include $5,363,913 assets in “government activities” and $21,515,411 in “business assets” which is the property of the sewer department. The statement also reviewed pension funds.

Izzo said the document included “no findings.”

It also looks at the municipality’s $23,876,179 long-term debt, or bond obligations. These totals include $5.4 million owed for government activities and services including money still owed on bonds used to finance the municipal building, and $18,458,794 owed on the sewer project.

The sewer debt includes about $3.5 million the township had to pay to hire a second contractor to complete the Millennium Park sewer after the first firm hired defaulted. The township is pursuing the original contractor through legal channels.

Izzo also commended the supervisors for “rolling over” several separate funds into the general fund last year.

He said that action resulted in less work for the staff.

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