As this Holiday season approaches, on behalf of the Board of Directors, management, and employees of the Authority of the Borough of Charleroi, please let us express our sincere hope and prayers that you and your family are well. Unfortunately, we know that all of us have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in some way. In many instances, that impact has been financial in nature.
Recognizing the financial strain and burden that the pandemic was likely to cause, and also keeping in line with our number one priority of providing safe water and sewer services to you, the Authority immediately implemented emergency procedures when the virus took hold in March, including issuing a moratorium on shut-offs. In the ten months that have followed, we have seen unemployment statewide increase to as high as 18%; thankfully, that number has decreased significantly and continues to do so. Over the same time period, the Authority has seen over $480,000 in delinquent invoices.
Given that the financial stressors of the pandemic have appeared to lessen, the Authority believes that lifting the global moratorium on termination of services in place of a phased, less restrictive approach will serve our customer base and the Authority equally well. Between now and February 1, 2021, any customer who has incurred a delinquent balance during 2020 will be eligible to apply for a COVID-19 Pandemic Payment Plan. The terms of the payment plan are as follows:
- Customers will have until February 1, 2021 to apply for a COVID-19 Payment Plan. Any customer who fails to apply for a payment plan contract will have his/her entire outstanding balance become due on the next invoice. Except as discussed below regarding other Sewage Authority accounts or for those currently receiving water illegally, no shutoff notices will be posted until after February 1.
- Customers who enter into the payment plan will be required to pay a minimum of $50 each month in addition to the regular invoice for water and sewage services incurred. As an example, a residential customer with both water and sewage service normally sees a monthly invoice of approximately $100. This customer, if on the payment plan, would have a minimum payment due of $150 – $100 for the monthly invoice, and $50 for the payment plan installment. Any customer with a delinquency of over $500 will be required to pay 10% of the delinquency each month for 10 months, in addition to the regular monthly invoice.
- The payment plan contract will be for a maximum of 10 months. At the conclusion of the 10 months, if there is a delinquent balance still remaining, the remainder of the balance will be due on the customer’s next regular invoice.
- Any customer who misses a full minimum payment of regular invoice plus the payment plan installment shall be immediately terminated from the payment plan and the entire delinquent balance shall become immediately due and payable.
- The installment payment due every month is a minimum; nothing will prohibit a customer from paying off the balance in full at any time or in any installments over the minimum required.
- Note for Customers of Other Sewer Authorities: The Authority processes shut-off requests for other sewer authorities, including Mon Valley Sewage Authority, Carroll Township Sewage Authority, and Pigeon Creek Sewage Authority for their delinquent sewage bills. ABC has no power to make payment plan arrangements with these authorities. If you need to discuss your non-ABC sewer bill with anyone, please call that authority directly. If ABC receives a shut-off request from any third-party authority after December 1, 2020, ABC is required to honor that request. If you are terminated for non-payment to a third-party authority, your obligations for payment to ABC still remain.
The payment plan application and contract are available by clicking here, or by calling the Authority service center at 724-483-3585 to request to have an application mailed to you. Once you complete the application, please either mail it back to the Authority at PO Box 211, Charleroi, PA 15022 or by dropping it off at the drive-thru payment window during normal business hours. If you have any questions, please contact the service center at 724-483-3585. Anyone who does not enter into a payment plan by February 1, 2021 will have the entire delinquency amount due on the next invoice after February 1, 2021.
Additionally, to reduce the stress on our customers who are tenants and to further give property owners and landlords more control over the water and sewage usage at their properties, beginning January 1, 2020, any request at a leased property for new water service or resumption of terminated water service will need to be made by the landlord or property owner. The water contract will be executed only by the landlord or property owner, and therefore the bill for services rendered will also be the responsibility of the landlord or property owner.
This will not affect leased properties that remain in good standing with the Authority. Only when a request for new service or resumption of terminated service will this requirement occur.
Once again, on behalf of everyone at the Authority, we wish you and your families nothing but the best during the upcoming Holiday season. If you ever have any questions or concerns regarding your account or the service you receive from the Authority, please do not hesitate to call the service center at 724-483-3585.