Residents eventually will be billed monthly.
By LAURE CIOFFI
VINDICATOR PENNSYLVANIA BUREAU
SHARON, Pa. -- City residents can expect a 10 percent increase in their sewer bills by year's end.
Sharon City Council passed the first reading of an ordinance Thursday that will increase costs to help pay for engineering fees for upgrades to the sewage treatment system.
Mayor Robert Lucas said the rate increase is needed to help repay a $2 million loan the city took out for that work.
He said $1 million already has been spent, and the city's monthly loan payment was $6,600 last month. He said it will be $14,000 per month once the entire $2 million is expended.
Residents are currently billed bimonthly, but city officials expect to eventually start billing them on a monthly basis. Lucas could not say when monthly billing would begin.
The proposed cost for sewage use up to 3,333 gallons will be raised from $20 per month to $22 per month. Those using up to 10,000 gallons a month will see their monthly fees increase from $25 to $27.50 under the proposed ordinance.
Will take out another loan
In other business, council agreed to take out another $1 million loan from Sky Bank to cover upfront costs for downtown revitalization projects.
Lucas said the money will be used to pay for work done on Shenango Avenue, including sidewalks, the riverwalk, lighting and other things. As the money is spent, the state will reimburse the city from its Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. The city was awarded a RACP grant of more than $1 million.
Lucas said there will be no interest charged on the Sky Bank loan as long as it is repaid within one year.