The sewer authority in Charleroi has agreed to double the annual contribution it gives to the borough to help the municipality replace outdated sewer lines.
The contribution from the Authority of the Borough of Charleroi began last year when it gave $60,000 to the borough for the repairs, but the sewer line improvements became more wide-ranging and expensive than originally expected.
In response, the authority agreed to double the annual allotment to $120,000 over the 10-year contract that Charleroi Borough Council approved 6-1 Wednesday night. Councilman Frank Paterra cast the only dissenting vote.
The money is earmarked for sewer line replacements and subsequent street repairs after the work is completed, council President Mark Alterici said. The borough is in charge of maintaining and repairing the sewer lines, while the authority runs the sewage plant.
“The reason I approached them about increasing it is that we’ve had problems with sinkholes and ‘wildcat’ sewer lines that don’t appear on the map,” Alterici said about increasing the annual contributions upon finding unexpected problems after the initial agreement last year.
The sewer authority services several neighboring communities, but the annual contributions are only being made to Charleroi because the borough owns the sewer authority. Alterici added that the line maintenance and repairs being performed by the borough is saving the authority money and other expenses in the future, which is another reason for annual contributions.
“They’re repaying the residents back for lowering their costs,” Alterici said.
Borough Manager Joe Manning, who was hired this summer, said the contributions are one way to increase revenue without raising taxes, although he noted that this money can only be used on the sewer line repairs.
“Since I’ve come on, we’ve looked at ways to improve operations, and infrastructure is part of that,” Manning said.
Also during Wednesday’s meeting, the council voted unanimously to authorize borough solicitor Steve Toprani to request an emergency demolition order to raze the apartment building at 933 McKean Ave. that was destroyed by fire Sunday night.
The two residents escaped the building uninjured, but the roof collapsed on to the second floor and is pushing against the walls, which could cause the building to collapse, Manning said. The borough is expected to request a hearing in the Washington County Courthouse next week to get the court’s approval to demolish the structure as soon as possible.