AP NEWS

Commercial Properties’ WVSA Bills At $1.4M For First Quarter Of 2019

May 2, 2019

The Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority billed commercial properties for almost $1.4 million the first quarter of 2019, according to information released Wednesday.

A breakdown of the 5,603 commercial parcels that were billed shows that most of the bills, about 65%, were less than $100. But with so many ratepayers, those were projected to raise about $121,000.

Several parcels were billed thousands of dollars.

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Almost 300 were billed $1,000 or more, including five parcels that were charged more than $10,000 each for the quarter.

Some of the parcels that reached into the thousands of dollars were billed to:

• Downs Racing LP, the entity that owns and operates Mohegan Sun Pocono, which was billed more than $22,000. That was the second-highest amount of any parcel.

• Mohegan Sun Arena, which was billed about $7,600.

• Pittston Twp. Volunteer Fire Department, which was billed $2,550.

The bills appear to be for individual parcels, because some names appear multiple times in the list supplied by the authority. It’s unclear why there are 5,603 entries, when the authority previously said it mailed bills to 11,012 commercial properties.

The location of some of the parcels is unclear because WVSA refused to supply the addresses that correspond to each item. The authority said that “in accordance with Right-to-Know laws, WVSA is not permitted to release addresses that may include those of law enforcement officers or judges.

The list of accounts we’d provided may include those of a law enforcement officer or judge. While we’re cognizant of our local judges’ names, we don’t know the names of all law enforcement officers serving our communities, and therefore cannot provide any addresses of property owners.”

The authority noted that some of bills may be lower through partnerships and credits.

“We are not yet certain what level of participation will result, but we will be touting the mutual benefits of the program,” said Robert J. Krehely, Director of Compliance and Administration, in an email.

Luzerne County government, for example, received stormwater fee bills totaling about $192,000 for county-owned properties.

But the county earned a discount of about 40% on the bills because of measures it takes to comply with the state’s municipal separate storm sewer systems program.

Furthermore, county officials and sanitary officials have discussed an intergovernmental agreement that could lower the bill, county Manager David Pedri said at an April 23 council meeting.

The first-quarter bills for commercial properties went out in March. The authority announced today that it waived late fees for the bills, and commercial property owners now have until 4 p.m. July 3, to make payments with no penalty assessed.

The extension allows customers more time to become acclimated with the stormwater billing process, satisfy unpaid balances and request property inspections that may reduce their fee, the authority said in a press release.

Contact the writer:

bwellock@citizensvoice.com

570-821-2051, @CVBillW