HERMITAGE City lowers sewer tap-in fee

A company interested in locating in the city was facing a tap-in fee of $250,000.
HERMITAGE, Pa. -- The city's efforts to attract a new company to the industrial zone on Broadway Road should get a boost as a result of the city lowering its maximum sanitary sewer tap-in fee.
The old fee, charged to a home or business for tapping into the municipal sewer system, was determined solely on the basis of estimated amounts of water to be used.
That will still be the rule -- up to a point.
Maximum amount: Everyone will still pay a tap-in fee based on water-usage estimates but now there will be a maximum amount that any commercial, industrial or multifamily residential development will have to pay.
City commissioners approved a resolution Wednesday setting that maximum at $40,000.
Larry Reichard, executive director of Penn-Northwest Development Corp., said setting that limit will help the city's case in trying to attract a particular company to a site on Broadway Road.
Penn-Northwest is the economic development arm of Mercer County.
Officials aren't saying who that company is just yet but Reichard said it would be a major user of fresh water and was facing a sewer tap-in fee of about $250,000, based on the old fee system.
Gary Hinkson, city manager, said the higher fee would be exorbitant for any company to face.
The tap-in fee isn't designed to line city coffers but to cover costs incurred as a result of the tap-ins, he said.
Roadway costs: In other matters, the commissioners said it will cost the nine residents of Cambria Street, an unimproved private roadway, about $1,500 each to get the city to pave the street and accept it as a permanent municipal roadway.
The commissioners introduced an ordinance authorizing the improvement, paving 820 feet of the road off North Water Avenue. The new surface will be 17 feet wide.
The estimated cost is $32,000 and residents who live there will have to help pay the cost, Hinkson said, noting the total residential share is $1,3,500 and will be divided equally among the nine property owners.
Anyone who doesn't pay the fee will have a lien placed against their property, he said.
They can pay the amount in one lump sum or spread the payments out over five years, paying 6-percent interest on the unpaid balance, he said.

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