|STORMWATER AUTHORITY||LOWER ALLEN TOWNSHIP|
|REGULAR MEETING||APRIL 7, 2022|
|The following were in ATTENDANCE:|
|BOARD MEMBERS||TOWNSHIP PERSONNEL|
|Timothy Johnson, ChairmanLloyd Bucher, Vice Chairman||Rebecca Davis, Public Works DirectorSteven P. Miner, LATSA Solicitor|
|Alison J Shuler, Secretary||Renee’ Greenawalt, Recording Secretary|
|Richard Schin, Treasurer|
Chairman Johnson called the April 7, 2022, Regular Meeting of the Lower Allen Township Stormwater Authority to order at 7:40 pm. He announced the meeting had been duly advertised for publication. The recording secretary called the roll. Mr. Edwards was absent with excuse.
APPROVAL OF MEETING MINUTES
Ms. SHULER moved to approve the minutes from the January 6, 2022, Regular Meeting. Mr. BUCHER seconded the motion. The motion carried 3-0 with Mr. Johnson abstaining since he was absent from the prior meeting.
There was none.
Mr. Miner summarized the issue of payment of stormwater fees by Pennsylvania state entities as several have not made payments to Lower Allen Township. He referred to a detailed memo provided to members in their packets. Mr. Miner noted that is a well-established principle that real estate owned by the Commonwealth may not be subjected to taxation by political subdivisions absent express statutory authority. The primary question at issue is whether stormwater charges are a tax or a service charge. A comparable situation currently being litigated in Commonwealth Court in Borough of West Chester v. Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
The Commonwealth Court has issued an unpublished opinion in the Appeal of Best Homes DDJ, LLC, 2021 Pa. Commw. Unpub., that stormwater fees are fees and not taxes.
The Township continues to send bills for the stormwater fee, which remain unpaid. Mr. Miner has sent a letter to PennDOT citing the opinion and similar letters will be sent to the PA Department of Corrections and the PA Turnpike.
LATSA Financial Reports:
Mr. Schin reported the March 30, 2022, cash balance of the Fund was $2,824,217.
Mr. SCHIN motioned to approve the Treasurer’s Report. Ms. SHULER seconded the motion. The motion carried 4-0.
Mr. SCHIN motioned to transfer to the General Fund, a final reimbursement for 2021 in the amount of $145,257. Ms. SHULER seconded the motion. The motion carried 4-0.
PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR REPORT:
Ms. Davis reported that the auditor would be making their presentation to the Authority at the May meeting, and that a copy of the audit report would be distributed for review prior to the meeting.
Next, Ms. Davis referred to the summary of billing accounts deemed “Uncollectable” with total balances through 3/30/2022. The summary is provided below:
|Commonwealth of PA||8||$6,249|
|PA Industrial School (SCI/Prison)||1||$234,477|
Stormwater Fee Credit and Appeals Monthly Report
Ms. Davis reported no submissions since the prior meeting.
Lower Allen Township and Stormwater Authority Agreement – 2022
Ms. Davis presented for proposed agreement to be submitted to the Board of Commissioners for approval. She noted it was a routine agreement completed annually for the purpose of bidding.
Ms. SHULER motioned to direct Ms. Davis to submit the agreement to the Board of Commissioners for their approval and to enter into the agreement. Mr. SCHIN seconded. The motion carried 4-0.
Request for forgiveness of late penalties – L. Sorensen
Ms. Davis presented, for approval, a proposal to waive a portion of delinquent stormwater fees due to a unique issue with a business seeking relief with respect to penalties. The issue was due in part to a billing error by the Township, related to associating the tax ID with the wrong property.
Mr. Johnson expressed his opinion that 100% of the fees should be waived since it was initially an error by the Township. Mr. Bucher concurred.
Mr. SCHIN motioned to forgive the late penalties for L. Sorensen in the amount of $729.38. Mr. BUCHER seconded. The motion carried 4-0.
New Enterprise Stone & Lime Co. Inc.
Ms. Davis summarized two letters related to the issue. Th first one was received by the Stormwater Authority (addressed to the Sewer Authority) from the new owner of the quarry, which indicated payment of the owed fees but in protest and questioned the legality and reasonableness of the stormwater fees. She also reviewed the Authority’s response, which explained the difference between the Sewer Authority and the Stormwater Authority, as well as the credit and appeals process, and fee resolutions.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS PERTINENT TO THE AUTHORITY:
There was none.
The Regular Meeting of the Stormwater Authority adjourned at 8:14 p.m.