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Commissioners say Alcosan, PAWC increases forced township's hand
North Versailles Twp. residents can expect an increase in their sewer bills as a result of the sanitation authority budget, approved by the board of commissioners at Thursday's meeting.
The increase will amount to approximately 24 percent, commission Vice President Sam Juliano said.
The Allegheny County Sanitary Authority, or Alcosan, treats wastewater from the northern part of the township, while sewers in the southern part of the township are connected to Pennsylvania American Water Co.'s McKeesport treatment plant. PAWC took over the McKeesport sewerage authority in 2017.
Township officials said for the past three years the North Versailles sanitary authority held rates constant despite increases from Alcosan totaling more than 21 percent for that time period.
“It's important to me that residents understand why their bill went up,” Juliano said after the board approved the authority's budget slightly in excess of $3 million.
“I just learned about (the increase) tonight,” Juliano said. “It's one of those things where I had ... a lump in my throat to pass it, none of us really wanted to. I don’t like paying more for sewage than water --- I don’t think anybody does.”
But, Juliano said, “it's no longer possible to avoid a jump in rates with increases from Alcosan and Pennsylvania American Water Co.”
Township Commissioner George Beswick voted against approving the budget. “We just received the budget this evening, I haven't have time to read it,” Beswick said.
Juliano said the average household's quarterly bill will increase from roughly $78 to $96.
Richard Finch Jr. is a freelance writer who covers news from McKeesport Area School District and North Versailles Twp. for Tube City Almanac. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published November 26, 2019.