As Phase 2 of Southmont Borough’s sanitary sewer project nears its end, borough council members are now requiring residents to be current with their monthly sewer maintenance fees or they will be subject to losing their water service. 

A motion was approved by the council on Monday to authorize Greater Johnstown Water Authority to terminate water service to borough residents for delinquent sewer maintenance bills.

The new ordinance will impact about one to two dozen households, said Amanda Layton, the borough’s executive secretary, after Monday’s regular board meeting.

“Most of them are vacant or rental properties where the owner lives out of state,” Layton said.

According to Layton, there is approximately $120,000 delinquent for sewer maintenance fees throughout Southmont Borough.

The borough had previously

placed liens on houses that had past due sewage bills, but believe the decision to terminate water service to these properties will produce more favorable results for the borough.

“At that point you almost have to wait for the property to sell before you get your money back,” Layton said. “We’re hoping this will kind of move it along quicker than a lien will.” 

Borough residents who are 30 days or more behind on their monthly sewer maintenance bills will now receive a notice stating that they have 10 days to make a payment. A second notice and final notice will be sent out if no payment is made.

Water service to the house will then be terminated if the previous balance has yet to be paid following the second notice.

Ronald Fisher is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @FisherSince_82.

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