WHITE TOWNSHIP: Supervisors seek to collect unpaid municipal fees
January 23, 2014 10:50 AM
by JULIE MARTIN

White Township officials are sending out final notices in an effort to collect on unpaid municipal fees, warning property owners who are behind on municipal service fees that the next step could be legal action.

The township collects fees for services including sewer, streetlights and fire hydrants. The latter two are only charged for properties that are a certain distance from the utilities.

About $71,000 is owed in total.

Officials estimate that between 60 and 70 property owners are late with the payments. Of the outstanding bills for township services, the bulk — about $60,000 — is owed for sewer fees.

The township sends out multiple notices and reminders when the payments are behind. Notices begin going out once someone is a year late.

If a property owner doesn’t pay up, ultimately, their property could go to a sheriff’s sale. However, according to solicitor Mike Delaney, that’s never happened before in the township.

“I know the supervisors don’t want to do that,” Delaney said. “That’s why we give three notices.”

Those who do not pay after the final notice, however, will be taken to court and be held responsible for all fees associated with the proceedings.

“So it would behoove those property owners to pay,” Delaney said after Wednesday night’s board of supervisors meeting.

In 2013, according to township Manager Milt Lady, 93.5 percent of property owners were on time with their payments for sewer, streetlights and fire hydrants.

When a similar collection took place in 2004, Delaney said, property owners owed the township about $80,000 in fees. That time, 75 percent paid up.

In other business Wednesday, the supervisors:

• Received an update on the purchase of security cameras for the township building and its surrounding property. The 16-channel DVR recorders should arrive by the end of next week, Lady said.

Four cameras will be installed at the building’s main doors. Cameras will also be installed in the lobby, by fuel tanks on the property and at the bridge that is part of the drive leading to the building.

Total cost of the cameras was $4,080 and installation will be handled in-house, Lady told the supervisors.

• Announced that White Township’s office will be closed for public business on Feb. 17. While that is Presidents Day, township staff will be performing records management work, Lady said.

• Discussed the rate adjustment of a bank loan that covers multiple municipal projects.

The township recently paid down the loan’s $1 million-plus balance with $400,000. In addition, loan holder S&T Bank dropped its rate from 4.03 percent to 2.78 percent.

With those changes, the monthly payment decreases from more than $30,000 to $8,200 a month, officials said. The township now owes about $690,000.

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