$5.4 Million Municipal Authority Budget Maintains Water, Sewer Rates
Separate 5-year, $4.8 million capital budget includes Charles Street water main extension in 2012
Township residents will pay the same for water and sewer service under a recently approved 2011-2012 budget.
Herb Schoell, manager of the township Municipal Authority, told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that the budget of $5.4 million will maintain the average quarterly water rate at about $81 and keep a flat sewer rate of about $79 per quarter.
Asked for comparisons by Supervisor Marguerite Genesio, Schoell said a recent survey of 40 Pennsylvania towns and water providers showed that Aqua Pennsylvania Water customers pay an average quarterly water bill of $193, based on 17,000 gallons. The lowest bill in that survey came from Lower Bucks County Joint Municipal Authority, at $52.
Schoell said a survey of 65 Pennsylvania towns and sewer service providers showed the highest bill coming from Yardley Borough Sewer Authority, at $300, based on 19,000 gallons. The lowest: $45 for District 2 in Hilltown Township.
Supervisor Keith Froggatt asked why sewer treatment comprises about 25 percent of the total budget. Schoell answered that the authority is at the mercy of Philadelphia rates because the township does not not have its own sewer treatment plant.
The budget includes $301,085 for salaries; $242,509 for administrative salaries; and $250,000 for employee benefits.
Schoell also explained that the authority's five-year capital budget of $4.8 million includes $950,000 in the first year. That includes $350,000 for a water main extension for Charles Street and $250,000 to repair sewer lines throughout the township. The authority also is seeking bids for “radio-read” water meters, he said.
“What this means is that instead of going house to house with the meter readers to read each individual home we'll be able to ride down the street with a laptop and be able to catch all the reads in a short amount of time,” he said. “Essentially we're going from three people reading three or four days a month to one person reading for four hours.”
The new system is to be financed with a loan.