West View sewage customers will see their
bills rise sharply as the result of the borough losing a legal
battle with the Girty's Run Joint Sewer Authority.
Increased charges from Alcosan will only add to the burden.
Borough officials said they were forced to raise rates to
pay for a 30-year, $7.2 million bond, money that went to
A court ruling found West View responsible for 25 percent
of the cost to build two holding tanks intended to prevent
sewage overflows on a 30-inch trunk line that carries sewage
from West View and Girty's Run customers to Alcosan. It was
upheld when the state Supreme Court in September refused to
hear West View's appeal.
this for nine years. We just couldn't go any further," borough
council President Dan Daugherty said. "We have no other
alternative here. It's something we didn't want to do, but the
law's the law."
Retroactive to Jan. 1, the quarterly customer service
charge will increase from $9.93 to $22.04. The rate per
thousand gallons, based on water usage, will increase from 81
cents to $2.82.
In addition, Alcosan increased its charges -- the bill
charge increasing from $5.78 to $6.27 and the
per-thousand-gallon charge increasing from $2.75 to $2.98 per
The average residential customer in West View uses between
15,000 and 18,000 gallons of water per quarter. Based on a
usage of 18,000 gallons, the total bill will increase from
$79.79 to $132.71, an increase of about 66 percent.
The borough has about 3,000 sewage customers.
For Girty's Run, the influx of cash will help keep the
authority solvent and possibly hold off a rate increase to pay
for mandated repairs, said Bill Youngblood, executive director
of the McCandless Township Sanitary Authority, which
temporarily has been managing the Girty's Run sewer system.
Girty's Run was 18 to 24 months away from exhausting its
reserves to pay for repairs to its system, Youngblood said.
Over four years, the authority's reserves had decreased from
$3.5 million to $1.2 million.
Youngblood said Girty's Run has inspected about half of its
system, finding about $1 million worth of needed repairs. The
authority has about $13 million in debt.
Girty's Run serves Ross, Shaler, Millvale and Reserve. A
task force of officials from those communities recently met
for the first time to discuss restructuring Girty's Run.
"They're on a good footing. The communities are coming
together to make whatever changes that would be beneficial to
the continued operation of the authority," Youngblood said.