[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Penn 5-20-2002 by Ord. No. 752. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Any person or persons requesting the installation of municipal water facilities to any property or properties within the Township of Penn shall first submit a petition to the Penn Township Board of Commissioners, on a form as may be prescribed by said Board, setting forth the following information as to all properties abutting along all roadways in the area proposed for waterline installation:
Upon receipt of such petition, the Board of Commissioners shall have the same reviewed and certified by the Township to determine whether the persons signing said petition constitute 51% of the total assessed value of all properties in the area to be serviced by the new municipal waterline.
Once any petition for waterline installation has been reviewed and certified as constituting the required signatures as set forth above, the Board of Commissioners shall obtain a written cost estimate from the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County as to the estimated installation expenses [or said waterline. All potentially affected property owners shall then be given notice of the estimated cost and afforded a final opportunity to add their names to or remove their names from the waterline petition.
Upon the completion of the foregoing review process, if the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Penn determines that a valid waterline petition remains, then the Township shall constitute a water district in accordance with the provisions of Section 2707 of the First Class Township Code, 53 P.S. § 57707.
The Board of Commissioners of the Township of Penn is hereby authorized to contract with the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County for services relating to the design, construction, installation, operation and maintenance of all new municipal water facilities within the Township, except waterlines installed by developers in new subdivisions.
The Board of Commissioners, at its sole discretion, shall determine by resolution the manner by which the costs of construction and installation of said waterline shall be collected from those properties accommodated and/or benefited thereby. Said assessments shall be determined by one of the following methods:
By the benefits assessment method. NOTE: A benefit assessment is the difference between the fair market value of the property before the installation of the waterline; and, the value of the property after the waterline is installed. This value is determined by a qualified real estate appraiser; or
By an equal assessment on all properties abutting on the mains in proportion to the total cost of construction. The amount of the charge on each property shall be determined by the Board of Commissioners; or
Pursuant to a specific assignment of the rights and claims of Penn Township to the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County for the purpose of allocating and collecting costs through a surcharge program in the event that the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County serves as the source of financing for the costs of said installation.
If the taxpayers of the district whose property valuation as assessed for taxable purposes within the district amounts to 50% of the total property valuation so assessed pursuant to § 188-3B of this chapter or if the taxpayers representing 50% of the parcels within the district who are assessed in accordance with § 188-3B present a petition within three months of the adoption of a resolution or ordinance levying an assessment pursuant to § 188-3B of this chapter to the Court of Common Pleas stating that the assessment insufficiently represents the benefits accruing to abutting properties, they may include in the petition a request for the appointment of viewers to assess benefits. The court shall appoint three disinterested viewers, none of whom shall be a resident of that portion of the Township which is accommodated by the water system in question, and the viewers shall proceed under this act for the assessment of damages and benefits of viewers. Upon the filing of the petition by taxpayers for appointment of viewers, any assessment made by the Board of Commissioners and any proceedings shall be stayed pending the disposition of the petition by the court.
After the amount of the assessment charged upon the several properties has been established by resolution or ordinance in accordance with § 188-3B. or by confirmation of any report of viewers, in whole or in part, the amounts of all assessments are payable to the Township Treasurer. The Board of Commissioners shall make out bills for the amounts charged against each property, which shall be sent to all property owners whose property will be served by the water system. If the assessment is not paid within 60 days after the mailing of a bill therefor, the Board of Commissioners shall collect it by action of assumpsit or under the law for the filing and recovery of municipal claims.
All buildings requiring a potable water supply or dwelling units situate within 150 feet of a newly installed municipal waterline are required to provide for a connection to said waterline. Any vacant or undeveloped parcel of record abutting upon a newly installed waterline shall provide for a minimum of one connection to said waterline for the benefit of such parcel. Penn Township or the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County shall issue a tap-in notice to the owners of properties abutting such newly constructed waterlines. Said tap-in notice shall provide a date which shall not be less than 90 days from the date of said notice by which time payment for the connection shall be made. The owners of each premises shall connect to the waterline at their own cost. The owners of each premises shall also be required to pay the then-existing tap-in fee established by the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County.
Water rental charges shall commence on the date a connection is made to the municipal water system and utilization of that system commences by the property owner.
The tap-in notice shall be presumed to have reached the owner of the property if the same is mailed by the United States Mail, postage prepaid, to the owner's last address or on the address shown on the tax records of the Westmoreland County Tax Assessment Office and is not returned. In the event that said notice is returned because of insufficient address, the tap-in notice shall be posted on the property in a conspicuous place by a competent adult. The affidavit of posting shall be sufficient proof of actual posting of the tap-in notice. At least 90 days before the date provided in the notice by which connection shall be made, the tap-in notice shall be served personally upon the owner in the manner provided under the rules of civil procedure for service of process in equity of proceedings, mailed as set forth above, or posted as set forth herein. The tap-in notice may be issued and reissued as necessary to accomplish the notice as required herein.
No person shall connect to the municipal water system without first having obtained a written permit from the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County setting forth conditions under which such connection shall be made and authorizing the construction of the connection. Application to the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County shall be made upon a permit form to be prepared and supplied by said Authority.
A separate permit shall be required for each physical connection to the municipal water system.
Any person commencing work on the construction of a connection to the municipal water system without first having obtained a permit from the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County authorizing said connection shall be in violation of the terms hereof.
As and to the extent determined by the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County from time to time, said Authority shall inspect the waterline connection from the building or structure being served to the waterline where connection is made. The Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County shall establish standards, practices and procedures relating to any such inspections.
If any owner shall neglect or refuse to comply with the provisions of this chapter or the written notice set forth herein, the Township and/or the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County, if legally authorized to do so, may perform or cause to be performed such work and labor, and furnish or cause to be furnished such material as may be necessary to comply with the provisions hereof at the cost and expense of such owner or owners, together with 7% additional thereof and all charges and expenses incidental thereto, which sum shall be collected from said owner or owners for the use of the Township and/or said Authority, as debts are by law collectible, or the Township and/or said Authority may file an appropriate municipal claim or lien therefore against said premises as provided by law. Interest on the total of any unpaid charges assessed hereunder shall be charged at the rate of 7% per annum. The Township may institute an action in equity in the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County to enforce the mandatory connection required herein.
The maintenance of the connecting lateral water line shall be the sole responsibility of the property owner.
The mandatory connection provisions of this section are subject to those exemptions or exceptions for industries and farms utilizing their own supply of water for uses other than human consumption as the same are set forth in Section 2708 of the First Class Township Code, 53 P.S. § 57702.
[Added 8-16-2010 by Ord. No. 865]
The Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County is designated by the Penn Township Board of Commissioners as the sole agency for the administration and enforcement of the provisions of this chapter.
All persons violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to a fine or penalty of not less than $100 nor more than $500 or such other amount as shall be stipulated therein for each offense, to be collected as fines or penalties are recoverable by law; and whenever such persons shall have been notified by the Township and/or the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County or by service of a summons in prosecution, or in any other way, that a violation exists of this chapter, each day that the violation shall continue shall constitute a separate offense punishable by a like fine or penalty.