Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Developers to Pay More for Sewer Tap-In

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Developers to Pay More for Sewer Tap-In

Article excerpt

Just months after Cranberry boosted sewage rates for customers, the township has approved a significant hike in fees to tap into the system. At the same time, another rate increase is being contemplated.

The effort to increase revenue anticipates a major expansion of the municipal sewage treatment facility on Powell Road, said township manager Jerry Andree who predicted, "We could be facing a $65 million expenditure."

The township is looking at seven options for the pending upgrade to the treatment facility, ranging in cost from $44 million to $65 million.

The most recent effort to increase the revenue stream to the Brush Creek plant, approved in January, increases the tap-in fees by $294 to $ 2,820.00 per single dwelling unit. Developers of new businesses will pay a tap fee based on the business's comparative equivalency to a single-family home.

Mr. Andree said the tap fee hike passes will be paid by developers. "We think it's fair to pass on as much of the cost of the [needed] expansion to future development," he explained.

He expects supervisors to make a decision in March on what design to proceed with for the plant expansion. The biggest issue is whether to do the work in a single phase. While a single phase would cost the most up front and in the short term, it presents challenges in that "we don't know what the next set of [state and federal environmental] regulations will be in five years." A phased construction schedule is likely to cost more spread out over the long term, he acknowledged. "If we do it in phases, we'll have more information on what we're dealing with," Mr. Andree said.

"There's a strong argument to do it in two phases with $44 million being the cost for phase one. But, later on, you'd pay for phase two when we'd know what the requirements would be, but the cost will be higher," he said. …

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