[Adopted 11-11-1952 by Ord. No. 766 (Ch. 102, Part 1; of the 1972 Code)]
Article I Imposition of Sewer Rentals
From and after January 1, 1953, there is hereby imposed an annual rental or charge upon the owners of properties served or to be served for the use of the sewers and sewage system of the Borough of Sharon Hill and for the use of certain sewage treatment works which are being constructed partially at the public expense of the Borough of Sharon Hill.
The annual sewer rental or charge shall be such sum as shall be sufficient to meet the following classes of expenses:
The amount expended annually by the Borough in the operation, maintenance, repair, alteration, inspection, depreciation or other expense in relation to such sewers, sewage system or sewage treatment works, including advertising costs, bond premium, postage, stationery and printing, Collector's commission, legal expenses, cost of obtaining water consumption data and any other items properly chargeable, either wholly or proportionately, to maintenance and operation of the sewage system.
Such annual amount as may be necessary to provide for the amortization of the indebtedness incurred by the Borough in the construction or acquisition of such sewers, sewage system or sewage treatment works, and interest thereon, in order that said improvement may become self-liquidating, or as may be sufficient to pay the amount agreed to be paid annually under the terms of any contract with any authority furnishing sewage treatment services to the Borough.
Sufficient to establish a margin of safety of 10%.
The Borough Council of the Borough of Sharon Hill finds as a fact that all of the properties of the Borough which are connected to the public sewers obtain water from the Philadelphia Suburban Water Company, hereafter for convenience called "Water Company," and further that the Water Company has water meters installed in all of the said properties; and the Borough further finds that all properties which are thus served by the Water Company are connected to the public sewers. The Borough Council therefore declares that the fairest manner in which to equitably apportion the total sewer rental or charge to be made is to base the charge for each property on the consumption of water used by each property connected to the sewers in proportion to all water consumed by consumers of said Water Company in the Borough. It is also determined that the sewer rental or charge for any property for any year should be based, so far as practicable, on water actually consumed by said property during a preceding period of 12 consecutive months.
The Borough Council shall secure from the Water Company in the month of November in each year statements of the total number of gallons of water furnished to and used by its water consumers in the Borough and the total number of gallons of water used by each individual consumer within the Borough for a prior period of 12 consecutive months. If the said Water Company shall neglect or refuse to furnish said information, then the Health and Sanitation Committee of the Borough Council of the Borough of Sharon Hill is hereby authorized and directed to issue its subpoena, signed by the Chairman of said Committee, for the attendance of any witnesses and for the production of books, papers or other evidence at any meeting of the said Health and Sanitation Committee, and the Committee shall have authority to cause the same to be served, and if any witness shall refuse to testify or to produce any books or papers, it shall be the duty of the Borough Secretary, represented by the Borough Solicitor, to report the facts relating to such refusal to the Court of Common Pleas and to request the said Court to issue its order to the said witness to testify or produce the evidence required, as the case may be, and all witnesses shall be paid their witness fees and mileage as provided by the Borough Code. Any fair and reasonable fee or charge by the Water Company for such data shall be included as part of the total amount of annual sewer rental as per § 298-2 hereof.
During the month of December in each year, it shall be the duty of the Health and Sanitation Committee to determine the number of gallons of water which were used by properties which discharged waste into the public sewers during a preceding 12 months or any fraction of said period. In cases where the Water Company records do not disclose the total number of gallons of water consumed for the entire twelve-month period, the Health and Sanitation Committee shall estimate the water consumed by said properties for the period when the Water Company did not supply water to said properties. The Health and Sanitation Committee is authorized to compute the total water consumption for the period that the properties were discharging waste into the public sewers based on a monthly average of the Water Company records for the partial period. In cases of properties which secure water from wells or from sources other than the Water Company, the Health and Sanitation Committee is authorized to estimate the quantity of water consumed by said properties, and in making such estimates, the Health and Sanitation Committee is authorized, in the case of residence properties, to determine the number of gallons of water used on the basis of the average consumption of water per family, and in the case of manufacturing, business or commercial properties, to base such determination on experience with similarly situated properties, from such information as shall be available.
After securing the information from the Water Company as hereinbefore set forth, the Borough Council shall annually adopt an ordinance which shall compute the total number of gallons of water used by consumers within the Borough for a preceding period of 12 months. The said number of gallons shall be the aggregate of the number of gallons shown by the Water Company records plus the estimates of gallons consumed as determined in accordance with § 298-5, and the said ordinance shall fix the total amount of annual sewer rental or charge for the following year. Said ordinance shall also determine the amount of money to be charged to each property for each 1,000 gallons of water used by each property for a preceding period of 12 months as hereinbefore provided. The amount to be charged for each 1,000 gallons of water so used shall be determined by dividing the total number of gallons of water furnished to consumers within the Borough, as shown by the Water Company records, plus estimated consumption where meter readings are not available, or a suitable percentage of the aggregate thereof, into the total amount to be charged as provided in § 298-2 hereof, so as to give a quotient expressed in dollars, cents and mills per 1,000 gallons of water consumed or estimated to be consumed, as the case may be. In computing the number of thousands of gallons per property, 100 gallons or fractions thereof in excess of 50 gallons shall be considered 1/10 of a thousand gallons. Said ordinance shall also designate the person, to be known as the "Sewer Rental Collector," to collect the sewer rental or charge for the following year, and such ordinance shall fix the amount of surety bond for such Collector.
The Health and Sanitation Committee is authorized, in cases where water consumers do not discharge all of the wastewater into the public sewer, to reduce the total number of gallons of water charged to any property after appeal by the property owners and hearing thereon. Said appeal shall be filed with the Chairman of the Health and Sanitation Committee within one month after the mailing of sewer rental bills. From the decision of the Health and Sanitation Committee, the property owner may appeal to Borough Council, whose decision shall be final.
In December of each year, final sewer rental bills for the following year shall be computed by the Sewer Rental Collector. The bills for the said year shall be determined by multiplying the number of thousands of gallons of water used by each property for a preceding period of 12 months, or by multiplying the number of gallons of water estimated to have been used for the said period of 12 months or fraction thereof, as the case may be, times the amount of charge per 1,000 gallons of water as hereinbefore provided. It shall be the duty of the Borough Secretary as soon as possible to certify a copy of the ordinance fixing the annual sewer rental or charge for the following year to the Sewer Rental Collector. The Borough Secretary shall also furnish said Collector as soon as possible with a list of all properties which are connected to the sewers, together with the names and addresses of the owners of said properties, together with a statement of the number of gallons of water used by each property for a preceding period of 12 months or as estimated as having been used, as hereinbefore provided. The Sewer Rental Collector shall make said final bills on forms to be furnished by the Borough Council and shall mail the same.
[Amended 9-9-1958 by Ord. No. 799; 10-14-1976 by Ord. No. 1055]
Sewer bills shall be payable as follows: If said sewer bill shall be paid on or before April 30, the net amount of the bill may be paid; if the bill is paid after April 30 and before June 1 of each year, a penalty of 10% shall be added; and if said sewer bill is paid after June 1 in the year rendered, a penalty of 10% shall be added, together with interest at the rate of 6% from the date of the bill.
The Sewer Rental Collector shall receive as compensation such compensation as Borough Council may fix annually.
It shall be the duty of the Sewer Rental Collector to keep full, accurate and complete records of all sewer rentals or charges, bills, receipts, payments and transmittals of money to the Borough. It shall be the duty of the Sewer Rental Collector to transmit all money so collected to the Borough at the same times and according to the same procedure as tax moneys are payable by the Tax Collector to the Borough. The Borough Auditors shall examine and audit said accounts.
The foregoing directions as to the time in which to procure information from the Water Company and the time in which to adopt annual ordinances and the times in which to mail out the bills shall be considered directory and not mandatory, and the failure to do one or some or all of said acts on time shall not invalidate any ordinance passed and shall not invalidate any bill rendered and shall not invalidate or forego the collection of any sewer rental or charge.
This article is intended to provide for the imposition and collection of an annual sewer rental or charge for the year 1953 and for the subsequent years. All ordinances or parts of ordinances inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed. It is not intended by this article, however, to waive or forego the collection of any sewer rental or charge for the year 1952 or years prior thereto.