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Allegheny Health Network seeking reduced sewage tap-in fees for Harmar hospital

September 7, 2018

Allegheny Health Network has asked Harmar officials for a break on sewage tap-in fees for its planned small format hospital.

Township Engineer Matt Pitsch said he received a request from Allegheny Health officials regarding the tap-in fees pertaining to equivalent dwelling units (EDUs). EDUs are the measure upon which sewage fees are based.

Pitsch said the Allegheny officials noted that the Allegheny Valley Joint Sanitary Authority, which operates the sewage treatment plant located in Harmar, gives a credit based on previous occupants of a lot or site.

According to Pitsch, the proposed 10-bed hospital at the corner of Freeport Road and Guys Run Road has been allocated 22 EDUs.

He said the first development on the property, an Eat n’ Park Restaurant, paid sewage tap-in fees based on 15 EDUs.

Pitsch said the Allegheny Valley authority provides new developments with a credit for what previous occupants paid. That means Allegheny Health Network would be paid 22 EDUs minus 15 EDUs as a credit, making the tap-in fee charge based on 7 EDUs.

Harmar Supervisor Bob Seibert said the authority charges $1,500 per EDU, which means that instead of the hospital tap-in fee being $33,000 (22 EDUs), it would be $10,500 .(7 EDUs).

At the same time, the township charges $1,000 per EDU as its fee. Therefore if the township would apply the same credit as the authority does, the charge to the hospital would be lowered from $22,000 to $7,000. That amounts to a discount of 68 percent.

Solicitor Chuck Means said the township is not obligated to follow the authority’s lead on this.

“As I understand it, there is no connection between the AVJSA fee and our fees, they are totally separate,” Means said.

Pitsch conceded that is the case but said Allegheny Health Network officials were only making a request.

Means suggested that before the supervisors take any action they discuss it with him in an executive session closed to the public.

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