Township of Millcreek, PA
Erie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Millcreek as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Public and private improvements — See Ch. 29, Part 2.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 121.
Subdivision and land development — See Ch. 125.
Attachment 1 - Exhibit 1, Petition Request Letter Attachment 2 - Exhibit 2, Resolution to Create a Street Improvement District Attachment 3 - Exhibit 3, Street Improvement Project Letter Attachment 4 - Exhibit 4, Petition Attachment 5 - Exhibit 5, Affidavit of Circulator Attachment 6 - Exhibit 6, Letter and Summary of Proposed Project and Procedures Attachment 7 - Exhibit 7, Resolution to Fix and Establish Project Costs
[Adopted 4-5-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-4]

§ 91-1 Title.

This article shall be known and referred to as the "Street Improvement Project Ordinance."

§ 91-2 Application.

A. 
This article shall apply to and govern establishment of street improvement districts upon petition of owners abutting the street or section of a street proposed for improvement.
B. 
For purposes of this article, "street improvement" shall mean and include the paving of a street not previously paved, the construction of a storm sewer or other stormwater management conveyance facility where no conveyance facility was previously constructed in the street or to replace a drainage course or other existing conveyance facility, the widening of a street's cartway, the construction of a street not previously constructed (this not intended to extend to the "opening" of a street) and all other improvements to a street. "Street improvement" shall not pertain to the repair, maintenance, relocation or reconstruction of an improvement subsequent to its construction.
C. 
For purposes of this article, assessments shall be made and imposed as to all costs related to a street improvement project authorized and established by the Board of Supervisors upon petition of abutting property owners. If a project is expanded by the Township so as to exceed the specific benefit to the properties within the district for which petition is made, the Township shall be responsible for such additional costs.
D. 
Unless specifically provided otherwise in a resolution adopted by the Board of Supervisors approving a street improvement district or project, the improvement, upon its completion, shall be accepted by the Township as a public improvement.
E. 
As owners of properties may construct such improvements, subject to Township regulations, either individually or by agreement with other property owners, and as the creation and implementation of improvement districts involves costs and administrative services, improvement districts generally should involve areas abutting a minimum of four properties. The Board of Supervisors shall have authority to approve a district benefitting fewer properties if deemed appropriate.

§ 91-3 Petition for creation of street improvement district/project.

A. 
One or more owners of property abutting a street or a section of a street for which an improvement is desired shall submit to the Township a written request for a petition for establishment of a street improvement district or project. Such request shall be made on a form substantially similar to that attached hereto as Exhibit 1.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Exhibit 1 is included as an attachment to this chapter.
B. 
The person(s) requesting a petition shall provide to the Township detail as to the desired improvement(s) and the street or section of a street to be improved.
C. 
Upon receipt of a written request for a petition in proper form, the Board of Supervisors shall determine whether the request pertains to a project or district subject to this article. If it does, the Board of Supervisors shall adopt a written resolution substantially in the form attached to this article as Exhibit 2.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Exhibit 2 is included as an attachment to this chapter.
D. 
Such resolution shall establish procedures for determination and assessment of costs of the proposed project and shall provide that a street improvement district or project will be approved, contingent upon:
(1) 
Receipt by the Township of a proper petition signed by owners who represent a minimum of 55% of the number of lot owners in number and in front feet of lots within the proposed project area; and
(2) 
Prepayment by benefitted lot owners, prior to project design, of sums equal to at least 70% of project costs.
E. 
If two or more streets or sections of streets are involved in a proposed project, owners, in number and front feet of lots abutting the proposed improvement, equal to 55% of the total on each of the streets or sections, must join in a petition for the petition to be approved by the Board of Supervisors.
F. 
Upon adoption of the resolution required under this section, the Township shall provide to the requester a petition form, an affidavit of petition circulator and notice explaining procedures to be complied with. Such documents shall be on forms substantially similar to those attached hereto, respectively, as Exhibits 3 through 5.[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: Exhibit 3 through 5 are included as attachments to this chapter.
G. 
All persons circulating a petition must comply with procedural requirements and submit to the Township a completed affidavit of circulator.
H. 
Upon adoption of the resolution required under this section, the Township shall send to owners of lots abutting the proposed improvement, by certified mail, return receipt requested, a copy of the adopted resolution and a written summary of the proposed project and procedures (Exhibit 6).[4] Return receipts shall be maintained in the project file. Actual costs of notice shall be included in project costs.
[4]
Editor's Note: Exhibit 6 is included as an attachment to this chapter.

§ 91-4 Determination of district or project scope and estimate of costs.

A. 
The Board of Supervisors shall have the sole authority to determine the area and scope of each street improvement project and to determine whether a street improvement district or project should be authorized.
B. 
Whenever practicable, upon adoption of the resolution required under § 91-3, the Township shall prepare an initial estimate of project costs for a proposed street improvement district. This estimate, which is intended only to provide property owners with general information, shall be provided, along with an estimate of assessments on a per-front-foot basis, to property owners, either on the petition form or in the notice required under § 91-3H. Such estimates shall not be binding upon the Township. Such estimate shall furnish the basis for the prepayment requirement of the resolution adopted under § 91-3.
C. 
The Township shall determine, from its records, those properties and the known record owners of properties which would be benefitted by and subject to the proposed street improvement district. Such information shall be included on the petition form provided to the circulator(s).
D. 
When a property is owned of record by two or more individuals, all record owners must join in a petition for that property and its owners to be deemed to assent to the petition.
E. 
If a property is owned of record by a corporation, partnership, limited liability company or other entity, a petition must be signed by the person(s) having proper authority to take such action on behalf of the record owner.

§ 91-5 Action upon petition received.

A. 
A completed and signed petition, together with the completed affidavit of each circulator, shall be submitted to the Supervisors or their designee.
B. 
The completed petition and affidavit of circulator(s) shall be reviewed by such person(s) as the Board of Supervisors shall designate to do so, to determine whether the documents are in proper form and whether the requisite majority of owners of properties have joined in the petition. A petition shall not be accepted unless it is in proper form and includes the joinder of owners of at least 55% of the total number of properties and front feet abutting the street(s) involved in the proposed district and project. Deficient documents may be returned to a circulator for required corrections and resubmission.
C. 
A street improvement district shall not proceed to design and/or solicitation of bids or proposals unless at least 70% of estimated project costs have first been paid by owners of properties involved in the district and project.

§ 91-6 Project costs and payment of costs.

A. 
All costs pertaining to or incurred in connection with a street improvement district project shall be deemed included within costs of the said project.
B. 
Work and improvements involved in a street improvement project shall be designed; specifications for the work shall be prepared; bids or proposals for work shall be reviewed and work involved in the project shall be inspected by professional engineers retained by the Township, and all fees and costs for such services shall be included within project costs.
C. 
Services for preparation of bid, contract, bond and other documents required for a street improvement project shall be paid for as project costs.
D. 
The Engineering Department shall not be obligated to perform design or other engineering services for a street improvement project.
E. 
The Board of Supervisors shall have authority to establish administration, review and like fees for services rendered by Township personnel or departments in connection with establishment and construction of a street improvement project. All such fees shall be included within project costs.
F. 
The Engineering Department and the Treasurer shall identify all fees, costs and expenses incurred in connection with a street improvement project, and shall ensure that such fees, costs and expenses are paid as project costs.
G. 
Excepting costs of connections to the property lot lines, all fees, costs and expenses with respect to a street improvement project shall be paid by assessments upon and against those properties benefitted by the project, on a per-front-foot basis. Township regulations as to irregularly shaped lots shall apply.
(1) 
Where an improvement project involves improvement to all or both streets abutting a corner lot, the Township's general regulations as to assessment of corner lots shall apply.
(2) 
Where an improvement project involves improvement as to fewer than all of the streets abutting a corner lot, the frontage of said corner lot abutting the street to be improved shall govern the lot's proportionate share of project costs. If, at a later time, a project of similar nature improving another street abutting said lot should be undertaken, said corner lot's average frontage shall be calculated. If that calculation produces an additional assessment to the corner lot, such additional amount, plus any actual connections to the property line, shall be assessed. No refunds shall be due by virtue of this modification of the Township's general regulations.
H. 
Where a street improvement involves connection from the improvement to the right-of-way line and lot line boundaries of benefited properties, costs of such connections shall be distinguished from general project costs and allocated equally to each benefited property as similarly benefited and not on a per-front-foot basis.
I. 
Within 60 days after completion of work involved in a street improvement project, the Board of Supervisors, by resolution in a form substantially in the form attached hereto as Exhibit 7,[1] shall establish final project costs and impose assessments upon the properties accommodated and benefitted by the project in proportion to their frontages upon the street or section of street so improved.
(1) 
All sums paid by a property owner prior to imposition of said assessments shall be credited against the total assessment amount.
(2) 
Written notice of the imposed assessments shall be mailed to owners of all properties affected and benefitted by said project. Said notice shall explain the calculation of costs, connections (as applicable) and assessments and shall notify owners of their obligation to pay the same.
[1]
Editor's Note: Exhibit 7 is included as an attachment to this chapter.
J. 
Interest shall accrue at the rate of 10% per year from the assessment date on the outstanding balance of imposed assessments which are not paid in full within 30 days after the date of said assessment notice. If imposed assessments are not timely paid, the Township shall file in the Erie County Court of Common Pleas liens for said unpaid assessments within the time period required under the general municipal law. Fees for the filing, collection and satisfaction of liens filed pursuant to this section shall be added to the property owner's assessment, and shall be paid by the owner of the liened property.

§ 91-7 Connection to completed improvement.

Owners of properties abutting a street improvement project, upon completion of the project and within 60 days after the date of notice from the Township, shall connect driveways, groundwater, stormwater or clean water discharges and other facilities upon the lots to the completed improvement. Such connections shall be made in accordance with standards therefor as have been established by the Township, and shall be deemed "improvements" governed by the Public and Private Improvements Code.[1] All work relating to such connections shall be inspected, with notice to be given by the owner to the Township's Engineering Department prior to commencement of work.
A. 
In appropriate circumstances, the Board of Supervisors may require that connections of specified facilities to the constructed improvement within the right-of-way of a street be included within the scope of the improvement project. In such case, the costs of such connection from the lot line to the right-of-way shall be included within project costs, and owners of the benefitted properties shall be responsible for effecting at their expense connections to the right-of-way line or other point of connection.
B. 
The failure by an owner to effect connection to a completed improvement within 60 days after the date of the Township's notice to do so shall constitute a violation of this article and is hereby declared to be a public nuisance.
C. 
All persons performing work relating to connection of a sewer from a benefited property to the improvement or the service connection at the property line shall hold a current license issued under rules and regulations governing the sanitary sewer system. The Engineering Department is authorized to regulate performance of work involved in connections to public streets and other public improvements.
D. 
If an owner fails to effect connection to the completed improvement within 60 days after the date of the Township's notice to do so, the Township, in addition to other enforcement remedies, may effect such connection to abate said nuisance and assess the property and its owner(s) for all costs of such connection. Such assessments shall be subject to interest in accordance with that established in this article, and if not paid within 30 days, the Township may file liens in the court and take such other measures to collect the assessment as are authorized under the general municipal law governing municipal claims.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 29, Part 2, Public and Private Improvements.

§ 91-8 Authority of Board of Supervisors.

The Board of Supervisors shall have authority to adopt and amend forms and documents to be used in administering regulations under this article; to establish and revise fees and charges and to take such actions as are necessary or appropriate to effectuate the provisions of this article.

§ 91-9 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Any person violating the provisions of this article shall violate this article.
B. 
Each day that a violation continues shall be considered a separate violation.
C. 
This article shall be enforced in accordance with Chapter 48, Enforcement and Collection Activities, Article I, Ordinance Enforcement, and Article II, Attorneys' Fees, of the Code of the Township of Millcreek (Ordinance Nos. 96-8 and 96-9), as may be amended, governing civil enforcement of ordinances and collection of attorneys' fees and costs in enforcement actions.
D. 
A fine in an amount not less than $250 and not more than $600 per violation and for each day of violation is hereby prescribed for violations of this article.
E. 
Upon a finding of violation, any person violating any provision of this article shall be sentenced to pay fines as prescribed in Subsection D, plus costs and with all attorneys' fees incurred by the Township in the proceeding.
F. 
Violations of regulations set forth in the Public and Private Improvements Code,[1] pertaining to the construction of improvements, may be enforced in accordance with said code or this article, at the election of the Township.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 29, Part 2, Public and Private Improvements.
[Adopted 3-19-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-2]

§ 91-10 Definitions.

When used in this article, the terms defined below shall be given the meaning as set forth in the definition of the term below.
BENEFITTED PARCEL
For purposes of this article, a benefitted parcel shall not include a common facility.
COMMON FACILITY
As defined in 68 Pa.C.S.A. § 5103, as may be amended, shall mean and include any real estate within a planned community which is owned by the association or leased to the association, and does not include a unit. For purposes of this article, the term shall extend to a parcel delineated as a common facility in a subdivision plan approved by the Board of Supervisors and/or in a plan for a planned community established pursuant to approval of a residential subdivision while owned by the developer prior to the parcel's transfer or lease to the association.

§ 91-11 Submission and receipt of petitions.

In accordance with the powers conferred in the Second Class Township Code as reenacted and amended by Act 60 of 1995[1] and pursuant to resolutions of the Board of Supervisors previously adopted, the Board of Supervisors, by resolution and upon receipt of petitions therefor signed by owners of a majority of the lineal feet frontage along public streets and highways in Millcreek Township constituting benefitted properties as defined in this article, may in its discretion approve installation of streetlights for the lighting of such public streets and highways within Millcreek Township.
A. 
The frontage of a parcel constituting a common facility shall not be included in calculating the frontage of benefitted properties or properties proposed to be benefitted and joinder or assent of an owner of any common facility parcel shall not be counted in determining whether owners of a majority of lineal feet frontage have joined in the petition.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 65101 et seq.

§ 91-12 Contracts for lighting.

Upon its approval of a petition requesting installation of lights, the Board of Supervisors shall enter into contracts with the appropriate electric utility for the lighting of said public streets and highways.

§ 91-13 Costs to be paid by annual assessments.

All costs of installing streetlights and of providing lighting and maintenance therefor shall be paid by annual assessments of the properties benefited thereby which are located within 250 feet of such lighting. Such properties shall constitute "benefitted parcels" as defined in § 91-10. Charges that would be attributable to the common facility shall be allocated proportionately among those benefitted parcels which derive benefit from the common facility.

§ 91-14 Assessments to be based on parcels' frontage.

Said cost and expense of maintenance and provision of streetlights shall be assessed by an equal assessment on certain properties located within 250 feet of such lighting in proportion to the number of feet such properties front on the described streets and highways or portions thereof so lighted, which frontages shall be ascertained under the direction of the Board of Supervisors and set down in an assessment record submitted with each resolution imposing streetlighting assessments. These frontages shall be used in computing said assessments upon the respective properties. Such assessments shall be calculated in accordance with uniform formulas as of enactment of this article being established under Resolution 96-R-32, as the same has been or may in the future be amended.

§ 91-15 Effective date and billing of assessments.

Upon receipt from the electric utility of appropriate information as to costs of the utility's provision of streetlighting, the Board of Supervisors shall, prior to June 1 of each year, establish and impose by resolution streetlighting assessments upon all properties benefited by streetlighting in order to assure payment of the costs of streetlighting and maintenance by owners of the properties benefited thereby. All streetlighting assessments imposed under such resolutions shall be effective as of June 1 of the calendar year in which said resolution is adopted.

§ 91-16 Initial collection of assessments by Tax Collector.

All such annual assessments for streetlights shall be filed with the Millcreek Township Tax Collector in the same manner as Township taxes are collected. The Millcreek Township Tax Collector is hereby directed to give notice, on or immediately after June 1 of the year in which said resolution has been adopted, that such streetlighting assessments are due and payable at their face amount to the Millcreek Township Tax Collector on or before July 31 next following the effective date of such assessment. Such notices shall be served upon owners of the properties by mailing such notices to property owners at their last known post office address.

§ 91-17 Return of unpaid assessments by Tax Collector.

If the assessments, or any of them, imposed pursuant to this article shall remain unpaid as of August 1 of the year in which the same were imposed, all such unpaid assessments shall be returned by the Millcreek Township Tax Collector to Millcreek Township and, from that date, Millcreek Township shall be solely responsible for collection in accordance with procedures established by the Board of Supervisors and the general municipal law.

§ 91-18 Penalty for late payment.

Effective August 1 of the year in which streetlighting assessments have been imposed effective as of June 1, a penalty equal to 5% of any streetlighting assessment unpaid in whole or in part as of that date is hereby imposed and shall be added to the amount of the unpaid assessment.

§ 91-19 Interest on delinquent assessments.

Interest at the rate of 10% per year from July 1 shall be assessed on all streetlighting assessments unpaid in whole or in part on August 1 of the year for which such assessment has been imposed.

§ 91-20 Supplemental and/or amended assessments.

Should Millcreek Township, subsequent to adoption by the Board of Supervisors of the master resolution imposing annual assessments effective June 1, receive from the electrical utility information concerning the costs of streetlighting benefiting properties not included within the Board's master resolution, the Board of Supervisors shall, within 30 days after receiving such cost information, adopt a resolution imposing annual assessments as to the properties subject to the late provision of cost information.
A. 
In such event, assessments imposed under such resolution shall be deemed effective as of the first day of the month next following adoption of said resolution, such assessments shall be filed promptly with the Millcreek Township Tax Collector, who shall, on or immediately after the effective date of such assessments, give to owners of the properties attested in the resolution the written notice set forth above, such notices to state the effective date of the assessment, provide that such assessments are payable at their face amount to the Tax Collector on or before the last day of the second calendar month next following the effective date of the assessment and that, as to all assessments unpaid in whole or in part after that date, the penalty of 5% shall be imposed with interest on the unpaid assessment accruing at the rate of 10% per year commencing the first day of the calendar month next following the assessment's effective date. All assessments imposed under resolutions adopted upon untimely receipt of cost information from the electric utility shall be returned by the Tax Collector to Millcreek Township for further collection effective the first day of the third calendar month next following the assessment's effective date.

§ 91-21 Content of billing notices.

All billings for streetlight assessments shall set forth the effective date of the assessment, the last day for payment of such assessment at its face amount to the Tax Collector, the fact that assessments after that due date shall be returned to Millcreek Township for collection and detail regarding penalties and interest imposed for nonpayment.

§ 91-22 Assessments constitute liens upon benefitted parcel(s).

Streetlighting assessments imposed under and pursuant to this article and all prior or future resolutions duly adopted by the Board of Supervisors shall, from the effective date of such assessments, constitute liens against the identified benefited properties, in accordance with the provisions of 53 P.S. § 7106, as amended, and shall, upon return of unpaid assessments by the Millcreek Township Tax Collector to Millcreek Township, be collected pursuant to procedures adopted by resolution of the Board of Supervisors and as provided by the general municipal law.

§ 91-23 Ratification of adopted resolutions.

All resolutions of the Board of Supervisors duly adopted prior to the effective date of this article with regard to installation of streetlighting and imposition and collection of streetlighting assessments are hereby ratified.