There are more than $80,000 worth of unpaid, overdue water and sewage bills in Bridgeville, and it seems like water shut-offs might be required to collect.
But collecting the money currently owed only solves part of the problem. Borough officials are also wondering why Penn-American Water Company let the unpaid bill total get so high in the first place.
Back when the borough handled water and sewage billing in-house, the total outstanding bill amount was usually around $15,000. If an individual home owed more than $200, the borough would threaten to have service shut off and work with the owner to get payment.
Right now, some individual Bridgeville homes owe as much as $1,500 in unpaid water and sewage bills.
“I’ve addressed this before with [Penn-American],” said borough manager Lori Collins, “and they’ve started to send out delinquencies and started to shut off water, but over the past six months I have seen no difference when I get my listing. It is always $80,000 or $90,000 outstanding, which [the borough] can’t afford.”
Mayor Pasquale DeBlasio suggested that Bridgeville emphasize to the Penn-American that water service must be turned off after a resident’s unpaid bill total surpasses the cutoff point.
“If that’s the limit that you establish, then people know how far they can push it,” he said. “Because it costs money to turn your water back on.”