Borough, authority to appeal court ruling

Thursday, March 23, 2006

By John Vivirito

A case that has been in the courts for 10 years may be headed to the state Supreme Court.

West View and West View Water Authority plan to appeal a ruling from Commonwealth Court last month ordering them to pay about $3 million toward a sewer upgrade project, said West View Solicitor Fred Baxter.

The Commonwealth Court ruling upheld an Allegheny County Common Pleas Court decision in 2004 that said West View and West View Water Authority must pay about one-fourth of the cost of a $12 million project undertaken by Girty's Run Joint Sewer Authority to help curb sewer backups.

The Commonwealth Court decision, issued Feb. 21, ruled that Common Pleas Court was right to uphold a 1987 agreement between West View and the Girty's Run Joint Sewer Authority requiring the borough and West View Water Authority to share maintenance and improvement costs.

Mr. Baxter said that, when West View entered into the 1987 agreement, it was to help maintain and improve the Girty's Run trunk line and try to reduce the sewage backups.

Ross, Shaler, Reserve and Millvale are members of the Girty's Run Joint Sewer Authority. West View is not a member but sends its sewage into the authority's trunk line.

Mr. Baxter contends each municipality using the system is responsible for its own problems and that West View had accounted for its own problems.

Girty's Run Joint Sewer Authority first sued West View over the matter in 1996.

When Common Pleas Court issued its ruling in 2004, Dan Daugherty, executive director of the West View authority, said the ruling could mean higher sewer rates for West View residents.


(John Vivirito is a freelance writer.)