Wednesday, April 19, 2017

More Security, No Water/Sewer Rate Hike ... Yet

The Pottstown Borough Authority board put off discussion of a possible mid-year hike in water rates Tuesday night.

When the 2017 $6.56 million water and $9.39 million sewer budgets were adopted by the authority last October, they were adopted with the understanding that a mid-year rate hike would come in July.

At the time, hikes of 10 percent for water and 7 percent for sewer rates were expected to work out to an 8 percent hike for the average customer.

If enacted in full, the average quarterly water/sewer bill, for 7,500 gallons of water used, would increase from $165 to $178, Utilities Administrator Robert Plenderleith predicted last year.

But Plenderleith was not at Tuesday's meeting and although the matter was listed on the agenda, it was removed for discussion once the meeting began.

What the authority board did decide was to award a bid for new security measures at both the water and sewer treatment plans for $920,000 to the Silas Bolef company of Norristown.

The bid, which was the lowest, was 5 percent higher than estimates.

The company will install electronic gates that must be opened with a key card, as well as cameras and new communications wiring for new phone systems at both plants.

The access cards will allow for septic companies to unload their trucks at the plant 24 hours a day, which means more revenue for the wastewater treatment plan operation, said engineer Tom Weld.

In other significant news, the authority also made a final recommendation to borough council to update the plumbing requirements in the borough to more closely reflect the modern standards used in surrounding townships.

Championed by Authority Vice Chairman Aram Ecker, the changes are meant to make Pottstown "more business friendly," said member David Renn.

For other items from the meeting, enjoy the cornucopia of Tweets below.

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