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Lyco. County water, sewer customers face rate hikes

The Lycoming County Water & Sewer Authority Board this week approved customers rate increases in the coming year for the Montoursville Regional Sewer, Armstrong Sewer and Limestone Water systems.

Rates for the Montoursville and Armstrong customers will be hiked from $70 to $75 monthly per Equivalent Dwelling Unit (EDU).

For Limestone customers, the base rate increases from $150 per quarter to $160 per quarter.

Water & Sewer Authority Executive Director Christine Weigle said rising costs for supplies and materials along with the need to finance upcoming projects prompted the hike in Montoursville sewer rates.

The Limestone system, she said, is in need of water main repair work, while Armstrong’s rising rates are being driven in part by costs related to equipment maintenance.

The board agreed to maintain customer rates for Beaver Lake Sewer at $161 monthly per EDU and Mifflin Manor Sewer at $138 per EDU.

In other action, the board approved a $6.4 million budget for next year, an increase of $300,000 for 2021.

Weigle referred to the increase as “a notable amount” that includes rate increases and work and services the Authority will provide for some of its contracted partners, including the South Williamsport, Duboistown, Muncy Creek, and Franklin Township sewer systems.

Payments of $75,055 to HRI and $3,200 to McTish, Kunkel, and Associates for engineering work related to the Church Alley sewer project in Montoursville were approved by the board..

Weigle noted that the project, consisting of replacement of sewer laterals and alley restoration work, is expected to wrap up early next year at a total construction cost of $184,000.

“Laterals have been replaced. Leaking has stopped,,” she said.

The board approved the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) to help families avoid water shut-offs.

The federal program assists low-to-moderate income households experiencing hardship paying water and sewer bills due to COVID-19.

The board agreed to continue holding its regular meetings the first Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m.

In other matters, the board:

• Voted to keep McCormick Law Firm as the Authority’s legal counsel in the coming year at the present rate of $150 per hour.

• Approved an agreement with HRI for engineering services in 2021 at $6,900.

• Approved Baker Tilly for auditing services in 2021 at $32,700.

• Met in executive session to consider legal matters.

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