SHENANGO TOWNSHIP – West Middlesex will have to wait a little longer for an invoice on its share of repairs to the joint West Middlesex-Shenango Township sewer system.
Joseph Depuy, president of Shenango Township Municipal Authority, said a key employee’s medical leave means the authority can’t submit a dated bill to West Middlesex Municipal Authority. He said the missing employee was the only person knowledgeable enough to generate an accurate bill.
“There’s nothing we can do right now,’’ Depuy said.
For nearly a year, authority officials have said West Middlesex owes a portion of a bill dating back at least a decade. The amount of the bill has varied, with the latest figure at more than $100,000.
Under an agreement — again, dating back more than 10 years — between the two authorities, West Middlesex pays 48 percent of the cost for capital improvements to the joint system, with Shenango Township paying the remaining 52 percent.
Members of West Middlesex borough council and its authority have insisted neither entity ever received a bill for several capital improvements to the joint system. West Middlesex Council President Robert Lark has said council would require not just a bill but a justification for it.
In another sign of discord between the two entities, Shenango Township Municipal Authority members responded to a vote last month by West Middlesex Council to rescind an agreement putting flow meters on both authorities’ respective systems. The meters would determine how much sewage each community sends to the treatment plant.
Members of the Shenango Township authority members have said they think storm water infiltrating the joint system from West Middlesex has resulted in more flow being treated than is necessary.
The 52-48 percent agreement is contingent on how much flow each contributes to the system.
West Middlesex council’s action didn’t sit well with Tom Hubert, a member of the Shenango Authority. Hubert also is president of the township’s supervisors. He previously said the agreement the authority has with the West Middlesex authority, not the borough.
“This is a separate entity,’’ Hubert said of West Middlesex council. “They don’t even know who the agreement is with.’’
Before altering the 52-48 percent arrangement, Hubert said the Shenango Authority needs to install flow meters around West Middlesex. The meters, he said, will give an accurate measure of how much flow both communities are sending into the system.
Authority members approved a motion for having their consultants to look into adding meters, with Brian Harmon, who supported a “last ditch effort,” casting the lone dissenting vote.
“This would be the seventh last-ditch effort,’’ Hubert said. “Nothing has ever come from this.’’
If the meters are installed and show that West Middlesex is pumping more into the system than the current agreement calls for at the existing price, then the West Middlesex rates should be raised, Depuy said.
“We are acting on the due diligence for the best of Shenango Township,’’ he said.