53c5607s

§ 5607.  Purposes and powers.

(a)  Scope of projects permitted.--Every authority incorporated under this chapter shall be a body corporate and politic and shall be for the purposes of financing working capital; acquiring, holding, constructing, financing, improving, maintaining and operating, owning or leasing, either in the capacity of lessor or lessee, projects of the following kind and character and providing financing for insurance reserves:

(1)  Equipment to be leased by an authority to the municipality or municipalities that organized it or to any municipality or school district located wholly or partially within the boundaries of the municipality or municipalities that organized it.

(2)  Buildings to be devoted wholly or partially for public uses, including public school buildings, and facilities for the conduct of judicial proceedings and for revenue-producing purposes.

(3)  Transportation, marketing, shopping, terminals, bridges, tunnels, flood control projects, highways, parkways, traffic distribution centers, parking spaces, airports and all facilities necessary or incident thereto.

(4)  Parks, recreation grounds and facilities.

(5)  Sewers, sewer systems or parts thereof.

(6)  Sewage treatment works, including works for treating and disposing of industrial waste.

(7)  Facilities and equipment for the collection, removal or disposal of ashes, garbage, rubbish and other refuse materials by incineration, landfill or other methods.

(8)  Steam heating plants and distribution systems.

(9)  Incinerator plants.

(10)  Waterworks, water supply works, water distribution systems.

(11)  Facilities to produce steam which is used by the authority or is sold on a contract basis for industrial or similar use or on a sale-for-resale basis to one or more entities authorized to sell steam to the public, provided that such facilities have been approved by resolution or ordinance adopted by the governing body of the municipality or municipalities organizing such authority and that the approval does not obligate the taxing power of the municipality in any way.

(12)  Facilities for generating surplus electric power which are related to incinerator plants, dams, water supply works, water distribution systems or sewage treatment plants pursuant, where applicable, to section 3 of the Federal Power Act (41 Stat. 1063, 16 U.S.C. § 796) and section 210 of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (Public Law 95-617, 16 U.S.C. § 824a-3) or Title IV of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (Public Law 95-617, 16 U.S.C. §§ 2701 to 2708) if:

(i)  electric power generated from the facilities is sold or distributed only on a sale-for-resale basis to one or more entities authorized to sell electric power to the public;

(ii)  the facilities have been approved by resolution or ordinance adopted by the governing body of the municipality or municipalities organizing the authority and the approval does not obligate the taxing power of the municipality in any way; and

(iii)  the incinerator plants, dams, water supply works, water distribution systems or sewage treatment plants are or will be located within or contiguous with a county in which at least one of the municipalities organizing the authority is located, except that this subparagraph shall not apply to incinerator plants, dams, water supply works, water distribution systems or sewage treatment plants located in any county which have been or will be constructed by or acquired by the authority to perform functions the primary purposes of which are other than that of generation of electric power for which the authority has been organized.

(13)  Swimming pools, playgrounds, lakes and low-head dams.

(14)  Hospitals and health centers.

(15)  Buildings and facilities for private, nonprofit, nonsectarian secondary schools, colleges and universities, State-related universities and community colleges, which are determined by the authority to be eligible educational institutions, provided that such buildings and facilities shall have been approved by resolution or ordinance adopted by the governing body of the municipality or municipalities organizing the authority and that the approval does not obligate the taxing power of the governing body in any way.

(16)  Motor buses for public use, when such motor buses are to be used within any municipality, and subways.

(17)  Industrial development projects, including, but not limited to, projects to retain or develop existing industries and the development of new industries, the development and administration of business improvements and administrative services related thereto.

(18)  Storm water planning, management and implementation as defined in the articles of incorporation by the governing body. Authorities, existing as of the effective date of this paragraph, already operating storm water controls as part of a combined sewer system, sanitary sewer system or flood control project may continue to operate those projects.

(b)  Limitations.--This section is subject to the following limitations:

(1)  An authority created by a school district or school districts shall have the power only to acquire, hold, construct, improve, maintain, operate and lease public school buildings and other school projects acquired, constructed or improved for public school purposes.

(2)  The purpose and intent of this chapter being to benefit the people of the Commonwealth by, among other things, increasing their commerce, health, safety and prosperity and not to unnecessarily burden or interfere with existing business by the establishment of competitive enterprises, none of the powers granted by this chapter shall be exercised in the construction, financing, improvement, maintenance, extension or operation of any project or projects or providing financing for insurance reserves which in whole or in part shall duplicate or compete with existing enterprises serving substantially the same purposes. This limitation shall not apply to the exercise of the powers granted under this section:

(i)  for facilities and equipment for the collection, removal or disposal of ashes, garbage, rubbish and other refuse materials by incineration, landfill or other methods if each municipality organizing or intending to use the facilities of an authority having such powers shall declare by resolution or ordinance that it is desirable for the health and safety of the people of such municipality that it use the facilities of the authority and state if any contract between such municipality and any other person, firm or corporation for the collection, removal or disposal of ashes, garbage, rubbish and other refuse material has by its terms expired or is terminable at the option of the municipality or will expire within six months from the date such ordinance becomes effective;

(ii)  for industrial development projects if the authority does not develop industrial projects which will compete with existing industries;

(iii)  for authorities created for the purpose of providing business improvements and administrative services if each municipality organizing an authority for such a project shall declare by resolution or ordinance that it is desirable for the entire local government unit to improve the business district;

(iv)  to hospital projects or health centers to be leased to or financed with loans to public hospitals, nonprofit corporation health centers or nonprofit hospital corporations serving the public or to school building projects and facilities to be leased to or financed with loans to private, nonprofit, nonsectarian secondary schools, colleges and universities, State-related universities and community colleges or to facilities, as limited under the provisions of this section, to produce steam or to generate electric power if each municipality organizing an authority for such a project shall declare by resolution or ordinance that it is desirable for the health, safety and welfare of the people in the area served by such facilities to have such facilities provided by or financed through an authority;

(v)  to provide financing for insurance reserves if each municipality or authority intending to use any proceeds thereof shall declare by resolution or ordinance that it is desirable for the health, safety and welfare of the people in such local government unit or served by such authority; or

(vi)  to projects for financing working capital.

(3)  It is the intent of this chapter in specifying and defining the authorized purposes and projects of an authority to permit the authority to benefit the people of this Commonwealth by, among other things, increasing their commerce, health, safety and prosperity while not unnecessarily burdening or interfering with any municipality which has not incorporated or joined that authority. Therefore, notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, an authority shall not have as its purpose and shall not undertake as a project solely for revenue-producing purposes the acquiring of buildings, facilities or tracts of land which in the case of an authority incorporated or joined by a county or counties are located either within or outside the boundaries of the county or counties and in the case of all other authorities are located outside the boundaries of the municipality or municipalities that incorporated or joined the authority unless either:

(i)  the governing body of each municipality in which the project will be undertaken has by resolution evidenced its approval; or

(ii)  in cases where the property acquired is not subject to tax abatement, the authority covenants and agrees with each municipality in which the authority will acquire real property as part of the project either to make annual payments in lieu of real estate taxes and special assessments for amounts and time periods specified in the agreement or to pay annually the amount of real estate taxes and special assessments which would be payable if the real property so acquired were fully taxable and subject to special assessments.

(c)  Effect of specificity.--The municipality or municipalities organizing such an authority may, in the resolution or ordinance signifying their intention so to do or from time to time by subsequent resolution or ordinance, specify the project or projects to be undertaken by the authority, and no other projects shall be undertaken by the authority than those so specified. If the municipal authorities organizing an authority fail to specify the project or projects to be undertaken, then the authority shall be deemed to have all the powers granted by this chapter.

(d)  Powers.--Every authority may exercise all powers necessary or convenient for the carrying out of the purposes set forth in this section, including, but without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the following rights and powers:

(1)  To have existence for a term of 50 years and for such further period or periods as may be provided in articles of amendment approved under section 5605(e) (relating to amendment of articles).

(2)  To sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded, complain and defend in all courts.

(3)  To adopt, use and alter at will a corporate seal.

(4)  To acquire, purchase, hold, lease as lessee and use any franchise, property, real, personal or mixed, tangible or intangible, or any interest therein necessary or desirable for carrying out the purposes of the authority, and to sell, lease as lessor, transfer and dispose of any property or interest therein at any time acquired by it.

(5)  To acquire by purchase, lease or otherwise and to construct, improve, maintain, repair and operate projects.

(6)  To finance projects by making loans which may be evidenced by and secured as may be provided in loan agreements, mortgages, security agreements or any other contracts, instruments or agreements, which contracts, instruments or agreements may contain such provisions as the authority shall deem necessary or desirable for the security or protection of the authority or its bondholders.

(7)  To make bylaws for the management and regulation of its affairs.

(8)  To appoint officers, agents, employees and servants, to prescribe their duties and to fix their compensation.

(9)  To fix, alter, charge and collect rates and other charges in the area served by its facilities at reasonable and uniform rates to be determined exclusively by it for the purpose of providing for the payment of the expenses of the authority, the construction, improvement, repair, maintenance and operation of its facilities and properties and, in the case of an authority created for the purpose of making business improvements or providing administrative services, a charge for such services which is to be based on actual benefits and which may be measured on, among other things, gross sales or gross or net profits, the payment of the principal of and interest on its obligations and to fulfill the terms and provisions of any agreements made with the purchasers or holders of any such obligations, or with a municipality and to determine by itself exclusively the services and improvements required to provide adequate, safe and reasonable service, including extensions thereof, in the areas served. If the service area includes more than one municipality, the revenues from any project shall not be expended directly or indirectly on any other project unless such expenditures are made for the benefit of the entire service area. Any person questioning the reasonableness or uniformity of a rate fixed by an authority or the adequacy, safety and reasonableness of the authority's services, including extensions thereof, may bring suit against the authority in the court of common pleas of the county where the project is located or, if the project is located in more than one county, in the court of common pleas of the county where the principal office of the project is located. The court of common pleas shall have exclusive jurisdiction to determine questions involving rates or service. Except in municipal corporations having a population density of 300 persons or more per square mile, all owners of real property in eighth class counties may decline in writing the services of a solid waste authority.

(10)  In the case of an authority which has agreed to provide water service through a separate meter and separate service line to a residential dwelling unit in which the owner does not reside, to impose and enforce the owner's duty to pay a tenant's bill for service rendered to the tenant by the authority only if the authority notifies the owner and the tenant within 30 days after the bill first becomes overdue. Notification shall be provided by first class mail to the address of the owner provided to the authority by the owner and to the billing address of the tenant, respectively. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to require an authority to terminate service to a tenant, and the owner shall not be liable for any service which the authority provides to the tenant 90 or more days after the tenant's bill first becomes due unless the authority has been prevented by court order from terminating service to that tenant.

(11)  In the case of an authority which has agreed to provide sewer service to a residential dwelling unit in which the owner does not reside, to impose and enforce the owner's duty to pay a tenant's bill for service rendered by the authority to the tenant. The authority shall notify the owner and the tenant within 30 days after the tenant's bill for that service first becomes overdue. Notification shall be provided by first class mail to the address of the owner provided to the authority by the owner and to the billing address of the tenant, respectively. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to relieve the owner of liability for such service unless the authority fails to provide the notice required in this paragraph.

(12)  To borrow money, make and issue negotiable notes, bonds, refunding bonds and other evidences of indebtedness or obligations, hereinafter called bonds, of the authority. Bonds shall have a maturity date not longer than 40 years from the date of issue except that no refunding bonds shall have a maturity date later than the life of the authority; also, to secure the payment of the bonds or any part thereof by pledge or deed of trust of all or any of its revenues and receipts; to make agreements with the purchasers or holders of the bonds or with others in connection with any bonds, whether issued or to be issued, as the authority shall deem advisable; and in general to provide for the security for the bonds and the rights of the bondholders. In respect to any project constructed and operated under agreement with any authority or any public authority of any adjoining state, to borrow money and issue notes, bonds and other evidences of indebtedness and obligations jointly with that authority. Notwithstanding any of the foregoing, no authority shall borrow money on obligations to be paid primarily out of lease rentals or other current revenues other than charges made to the public for the use of the capital projects financed if the net debt of the lessee municipality or municipalities shall exceed any limit provided by any law of the Commonwealth.

(13)  To make contracts of every name and nature and to execute all instruments necessary or convenient for the carrying on of its business.

(14)  Without limitation of the foregoing, to borrow money and accept grants from and to enter into contracts, leases or other transactions with any Federal agency, the Commonwealth or a municipality, school district, corporation or authority.

(15)  To have the power of eminent domain.

(16)  To pledge, hypothecate or otherwise encumber all or any of the revenues or receipts of the authority as security for all or any of the obligations of the authority.

(17)  To do all acts and things necessary or convenient for the promotion of its business and the general welfare of the authority to carry out the powers granted to it by this chapter or other law, including, but not limited to, the adoption of reasonable rules and regulations that apply to water and sewer lines located on a property owned or leased by a customer and to refer for prosecution as a summary offense any violation dealing with rules and regulations relating to water and sewer lines located on a property owned or leased by a customer. Under this paragraph, an authority established by a county of the second class A which is not a home rule county shall have powers for the inspection and repair of sewer facilities comparable to the powers of health officials under section 3007 of the act of May 1, 1933 (P.L.103, No.69), known as The Second Class Township Code.

(18)  To contract with any municipality, corporation or a public authority of this and an adjoining state on terms as the authority shall deem proper for the construction and operation of any project which is partly in this Commonwealth and partly in the adjoining state.

(19)  To enter into contracts to supply water and other services to and for municipalities that are not members of the authority or to and for the Commonwealth, municipalities, school districts, persons or authorities and fix the amount to be paid therefor.

(20)  (i)  To make contracts of insurance with an insurance company, association or exchange authorized to transact business in this Commonwealth, insuring its employees and appointed officers and officials under a policy or policies of insurance covering life, accidental death and dismemberment and disability income. Statutory requirements for such insurance, including, but not limited to, requisite number of eligible employees, appointed officers and officials, as provided for in section 621.2 of the act of May 17, 1921 (P.L.682, No.284), known as The Insurance Company Law of 1921, and sections 1, 2, 6, 7 and 9 of the act of May 11, 1949 (P.L.1210, No.367), known as the Group Life Insurance Policy Law, shall be met.

(ii)  To make contracts with an insurance company, association or exchange or any hospital plan corporation or professional health service corporation authorized to transact business in this Commonwealth insuring or covering its employees and their dependents but not its appointed officers and officials nor their dependents for hospital and medical benefits and to contract for its employees but not its appointed officers and officials with an insurance company, association or exchange authorized to transact business in this Commonwealth granting annuities or to establish, maintain, operate and administer its own pension plan covering its employees but not its appointed officers and officials.

(iii)  For the purposes set forth under this paragraph, to agree to pay part or all of the cost of this insurance, including the premiums or charges for carrying these contracts, and to appropriate out of its treasury any money necessary to pay such costs, premiums or charges. The proper officers of the authority who are authorized to enter into such contracts are authorized, enabled and permitted to deduct from the officers' or employees' pay, salary or compensation that part of the premium or cost which is payable by the officer or employee and as may be so authorized by the officer or employee in writing.

(21)  To charge the cost of construction of any sewer or water main constructed by the authority against the properties benefited, improved or accommodated thereby to the extent of such benefits. These benefits shall be assessed in the manner provided under this chapter for the exercise of the right of eminent domain.

(22)  To charge the cost of construction of a sewer or water main constructed by the authority against the properties benefited, improved or accommodated by the construction according to the foot front rule. Charges shall be based upon the foot frontage of the properties benefited and shall be a lien against such properties. Charges may be assessed and collected and liens may be enforced in the manner provided by law for the assessment and collection of charges and the enforcement of liens of the municipality in which such authority is located. No charge shall be assessed unless prior to the construction of a sewer or water main the authority submitted the plan of construction and estimated cost to the municipality in which the project is to be undertaken and the municipality approved it. The properties benefited, improved or accommodated by the construction may not be charged an aggregate amount in excess of the approved estimated cost.

(23)  To require the posting of financial security to insure the completion in accordance with the approved plat and with the rules and regulations of the authority of any water mains or sanitary sewer lines, or both, and related apparatus and facilities required to be installed by or on behalf of a developer under an approved land development or subdivision plat as these terms are defined under the act of July 31, 1968 (P.L.805, No.247), known as the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code. If financial security is required by the authority and without limitation as to other types of financial security which the authority may approve, which approval shall not be unreasonably withheld, federally chartered or Commonwealth-chartered lending institution irrevocable letters of credit and restrictive or escrow accounts in these lending institutions shall be deemed acceptable financial security. Financial security shall be posted with a bonding company or federally chartered or Commonwealth-chartered lending institution chosen by the party posting the financial security if the bonding company or lending institution is authorized to conduct business within this Commonwealth. The bond or other security shall provide for and secure to the authority the completion of required improvements within one year from the date of posting of the security. The amount of financial security shall be equal to 110% of the cost of the required improvements for which financial security is to be posted. The cost of required improvements shall be established by submitting to the authority a bona fide bid from a contractor chosen by the party posting the financial security. In the absence of a bona fide bid, the cost shall be established by an estimate prepared by the authority's engineer. If the party posting the financial security requires more than one year from the date of posting the financial security to complete the required improvements, the amount of financial security may be increased by an additional 10% for each one-year period beyond the first anniversary date from the initial posting date or to 110% of the cost of completing the required improvements as reestablished on or about the expiration of the preceding one-year period by using the above bidding procedure. As the work of installing the required improvements proceeds, the party posting the financial security may request the authority to release or authorize the release of, from time to time, portions of the financial security necessary to pay the contractor performing the work. Release requests shall be in writing addressed to the authority, and the authority shall have 45 days after receiving a request to ascertain from the authority engineer, certified in writing, that the portion of the work has been completed in accordance with the approved plat. Upon receiving written certification, the authority shall authorize release by the bonding company or lending institution of an amount estimated by the authority engineer to fairly represent the value of the improvements completed. If the authority fails to act within the 45-day period, it shall be deemed to have approved the requested release of funds. The authority may, prior to final release at the time of completion and certification by its engineer, retain 10% of the original amount of the posted financial security for the improvements. If the authority accepts dedication of all or some of the required improvements following completion, it may require the posting of financial security to secure structural integrity of the dedicated improvements as well as the functioning of the improvements in accordance with the design and specifications as depicted on the final plat and the authority's rules and regulations. This financial security shall expire not later than 18 months from the date of acceptance of dedication and shall be of the same type as set forth in this paragraph with regard to that which is required for installation of the improvements, except that it shall not exceed 15% of the actual cost of installation of the improvements. Any inconsistent ordinance, resolution or statute is null and void.

(24)  To charge enumerated fees to property owners who desire to or are required to connect to the authority's sewer or water system. Fees shall be based upon the duly adopted fee schedule which is in effect at the time of payment and shall be payable at the time of application for connection or at a time to which the property owner and the authority agree. In the case of projects to serve existing development, fees shall be payable at a time to be determined by the authority. An authority may require that no capacity be guaranteed for a property owner until the tapping fees have been paid or secured by other financial security. The fees shall be in addition to any charges assessed against the property in the construction of a sewer or water main by the authority under paragraphs (21) and (22) as well as any other user charges imposed by the authority under paragraph (9), except that no reservation of capacity fee or other similar charge shall be imposed or collected from a property owner who has applied for service unless the charge is based on debt and fixed operating expenses. A reservation of capacity fee or other similar charge may not exceed 60% of the average sanitary sewer bill for a residential customer in the same sewer service area for the same billing period. Any authority opting to collect a reservation of capacity fee or other similar charge may not collect the tapping fee until the time as the building permit fee is due. Tapping fees shall not include costs included in the calculation of any other fees, assessments, rates or other charges imposed under this act.

(i)  The fees may include any of the following if they are separately set forth in a resolution adopted by the authority:

(A)  Connection fee. A connection fee shall not exceed an amount based upon the actual cost of the connection of the property extending from the authority's main to the property line or curb stop of the property connected. The authority may also base the connection fee upon an average cost for previously installed connections of similar type and size. Such average cost may be trended to current cost using published cost indexes. In lieu of payment of the fee, an authority may require the construction of those facilities by the property owner who requested the connection.

(B)  Customer facilities fee. A customer facilities fee shall not exceed an amount based upon the actual cost of facilities serving the connected property from the property line or curb stop to the proposed dwelling or building to be served. The fee shall be chargeable only if the authority installs the customer facilities. In lieu of payment of the customer facilities fee, an authority may require the construction of those facilities by the property owner who requests customer facilities. In the case of water service, the fee may include the cost of a water meter and installation if the authority provides or installs the water meter. If the property connected or to be connected with the sewer system of the authority is not equipped with a water meter, the authority may install a meter at its own cost and expense. If the property is supplied with water from the facilities of a public water supply agency, the authority shall not install a meter without the consent and approval of the public water supply agency.

(C)  Tapping fee. A tapping fee shall not exceed an amount based upon some or all of the following parts which shall be separately set forth in the resolution adopted by the authority to establish these fees. In lieu of payment of this fee, an authority may require the construction and dedication of only such capacity, distribution-collection or special purpose facilities necessary to supply service to the property owner or owners.

(I)  Capacity part. The capacity part shall not exceed an amount that is based upon the cost of capacity-related facilities, including, but not limited to, source of supply, treatment, pumping, transmission, trunk, interceptor and outfall mains, storage, sludge treatment or disposal, interconnection or other general system facilities. Except as specifically provided in this paragraph, such facilities may include only those that provide existing service. The cost of capacity-related facilities, excluding facilities contributed to the authority by any person, government or agency, or portions of facilities paid for with contributions or grants other than tapping fees, shall be based upon their historical cost trended to current cost using published cost indexes or upon the historical cost plus interest and other financing fees paid on debt financing such facilities. To the extent that historical cost is not ascertainable, tapping fees may be based upon an engineer's reasonable written estimate of current replacement cost. Such written estimate shall be based upon and include an itemized listing of those components of the actual facilities for which historical cost is not ascertainable. Outstanding debt related to the facilities shall be subtracted from the cost except when calculating the initial tapping fee imposed for connection to facilities exclusively serving new customers. The outstanding debt shall be subtracted for all subsequent revisions of the initial tapping fee where the historical cost has been updated to reflect current cost except as specifically provided in this section. For tapping fees or components related to facilities initially serving exclusively new customers, an authority may, no more frequently than annually and without updating the historical cost of or subtracting the outstanding debt related to such facilities, increase such tapping fee by an amount calculated by multiplying the tapping fee by the weighted average interest rate on the debt related to such facilities applicable for the period since the fee was initially established or the last increase of the tapping fee for such facilities. The capacity part of the tapping fee per unit of design capacity of said facilities required by the new customer shall not exceed the total cost of the facilities as described herein divided by the system design capacity of all such facilities. Where the cost of facilities to be constructed or acquired in the future are included in the calculation of the capacity part as permitted herein, the total cost of the facilities shall be divided by the system design capacity plus the additional capacity to be provided by the facilities to be constructed or acquired in the future. An authority may allocate its capacity-related facilities to different sections or districts of its system and may impose additional capacity-related tapping fees on specific groups of existing customers such as commercial and industrial customers in conjunction with additional capacity requirements of those customers. The cost of facilities to be constructed or acquired in the future that will increase the system design capacity may be included in the calculation of the capacity part, subject to the provisions of clause (VI). The cost of such facilities shall not exceed their reasonable estimated cost set forth in a duly adopted annual budget or a five-year capital improvement plan. The authority shall have taken at least two of the following actions toward construction of the facilities:

(a)  obtained financing for the facilities;

(b)  entered into a contract obligating the authority to construct or pay for the cost of construction of the facilities or its portion thereof in the event that multiple parties are constructing the facilities;

(c)  obtained a permit for the facilities;

(d)  obtained title to or condemned additional real estate upon which the facilities will be constructed;

(e)  entered into a contract obligating the authority to purchase or acquire facilities owned by another;

(f)  prepared an engineering feasibility study specifically related to the facilities, which study recommends the construction of the facilities within a five-year period;

(g)  entered into a contract for the design or construction of the facilities or adopted a budget which includes the use of in-house resources for the design or construction of the facilities.

(II)  Distribution or collection part. The distribution or collection part may not exceed an amount based upon the cost of distribution or collection facilities required to provide service, such as mains, hydrants and pumping stations. Facilities may only include those that provide existing service. The cost of distribution or collections facilities, excluding facilities contributed to the authority by any person, government or agency, or portions of facilities paid for with contributions or grants other than tapping fees, shall be based upon historical cost trended to current cost using published cost indexes or upon the historical cost plus interest and other financing fees paid on debt financing such facilities. To the extent that historical cost is not ascertainable, tapping fees may be based upon an engineer's reasonable written estimate of replacement cost. Such written estimate shall be based upon and include an itemized listing of those components of the actual facilities for which historical cost is not ascertainable. Outstanding debt related to the facilities shall be subtracted from the cost except when calculating the initial tapping fee imposed for connection to facilities exclusively serving new customers. The outstanding debt shall be subtracted for all subsequent revisions of the initial tapping fee where the historical cost has been updated to reflect current cost except as specifically provided in this section. For tapping fees or components related to facilities initially serving exclusively new customers, an authority may, no more frequently than annually and without updating the historical cost of or subtracting the outstanding debt related to such facilities, increase such tapping fee by an amount calculated by multiplying the tapping fee by the weighted average interest rate on the debt related to such facilities applicable for the period since the fee was initially established or the last increase of the tapping fee for such facilities. The distribution or collection part of the tapping fee per unit of design capacity of said facilities required by the new customer shall not exceed the cost of the facilities divided by the design capacity. An authority may allocate its distribution-related or collection-related facilities to different sections or districts of its system and may impose additional distribution-related or collection-related tapping fees on specific groups of existing customers such as commercial and industrial customers in conjunction with additional capacity requirements of those customers.

(III)  Special purpose part. A part for special purpose facilities shall be applicable only to a particular group of customers or for serving a particular purpose or a specific area based upon the cost of the facilities, including, but not limited to, booster pump stations, fire service facilities, water or sewer mains, pumping stations and industrial wastewater treatment facilities. Such facilities may include only those that provide existing service. The cost of special purpose facilities, excluding facilities contributed to the authority by any person, government or agency, or portions of facilities paid for with contributions or grants other than tapping fees, shall be based upon historical cost trended to current cost using published cost indexes or upon the historical cost plus interest and other financing fees paid on debt financing such facilities. To the extent that historical cost is not ascertainable, tapping fees may be based upon an engineer's reasonable written estimate of current replacement cost. Such written estimate shall be based upon and include an itemized listing of those components of the actual facilities for which historical cost is not ascertainable. Outstanding debt related to the facilities shall be subtracted from the cost except when calculating the initial tapping fee imposed for connection to facilities exclusively serving new customers. The outstanding debt shall be subtracted for all subsequent revisions of the initial tapping fee where the historical cost has been updated to reflect current cost except as specifically provided in this section. For tapping fees or components related to facilities initially serving exclusively new customers, an authority may, no more frequently than annually and without updating the historical cost of or subtracting the outstanding debt related to such facilities, increase such tapping fee by an amount calculated by multiplying the tapping fee by the weighted average interest rate on the debt related to such facilities applicable for the period since the fee was initially established or the last increase of the tapping fee for such facilities. The special purpose part of the tapping fee per unit of design capacity of such special purpose facilities required by the new customer shall not exceed the cost of the facilities as described herein divided by the design capacity of the facilities. Where an authority constructs special purpose facilities at its own expense, the design capacity for the facilities may be expressed in terms of the number of equivalent dwelling units to be served by the facilities. In no event shall an authority continue to collect any tapping fee which includes a special purpose part after special purpose part fees have been imposed on the total number of design capacity units used in the original calculation of the special purpose part. An authority may allocate its special purpose facilities to different sections or districts of its system and may impose additional special purpose tapping fees on specific groups of existing customers such as commercial and industrial customers in conjunction with additional capacity requirements of those customers.

(IV)  Reimbursement part. The reimbursement part shall only be applicable to the users of certain specific facilities when a fee required to be collected from such users will be reimbursed to the person at whose expense the facilities were constructed as set forth in a written agreement between the authority and such person at whose expense such facilities were constructed.

(V)  Calculation of tapping fee.

(a)  In arriving at the cost to be included in the tapping fee, the same cost shall not be included in more than one part of the tapping fee.

(b)  No tapping fee may be based upon or include the cost of expanding, replacing, updating or upgrading facilities serving only existing customers in order to meet stricter efficiency, environmental, regulatory or safety standards or to provide better service to or meet the needs of existing customers.

(c)  The cost used in calculating tapping fees shall not include maintenance and operation expenses.

(d)  As used in this subclause, "maintenance and operation expenses" are those expenditures made during the useful life of a sewer or water system for labor, materials, utilities, equipment accessories, appurtenances and other items which are necessary to manage and maintain the system capacity and performance and to provide the service for which the system was constructed. Costs or expenses to reduce or eliminate groundwater infiltration or inflow may not be included in the cost of facilities used to calculate tapping fees unless these costs or expenses result in an increase in system design capacity.

(e)  Except as otherwise provided for the calculation of a special purpose part, the design capacity required by a new residential customer used in calculating sewer or water tapping fees shall not exceed an amount established by multiplying 65 gallons per capita per day for water capacity, 90 gallons per capita per day for sewer capacity times the average number of persons per household as established by the most recent census data provided by the United States Census Bureau. If an authority service area is entirely within a municipal boundary for which there is corresponding census data specifying the average number of persons per household, issued by the United States Census Bureau, the average shall be used. If an authority service area is not entirely within a municipal boundary but is entirely within a county or other geographic area within Pennsylvania for which the United States Census Bureau has provided the average number of persons per household, then that average for the county or geographic area shall be used. If an authority service area is not entirely within a municipal, county or other geographic area within Pennsylvania for which the United States Census Bureau has calculated an average number of persons per household, then the Pennsylvania average number of persons per household shall be used as published by the United States Census Bureau. Alternatively, the design capacity required for a new residential customer shall be determined by a study but shall not exceed:

(i)  for water capacity, the average residential water consumption per residential customer, or, for sewage capacity, the average residential water consumption per residential customer plus ten percent. The average residential water consumption shall be determined by dividing the total water consumption for all metered residential customers in the authority's service area over at least a 12-consecutive-month period within the most recent five years by the average number of customers during the period; or

(ii)  for sewer capacity, the average sewage flow per residential customer determined by a measured sewage flow study. Such study shall be completed in accordance with sound engineering practices within the most recent five years for the lesser of three or all residential subdivisions of more than ten lots which have collection systems in good repair and which connected to the authority's facilities within the most recent five years. The study shall calculate the average sewage flow per residential customer in such developments by measuring actual sewage flows over at least 12 consecutive months at the points where such developments connected to the authority's sewer main.

(iii)  All data and other information considered or obtained by an authority in connection with determining capacity under this subsection shall be made available to the public upon request.

(iv)  If any person required to pay a tapping fee submits to the authority an opinion from a professional engineer that challenges the validity of the results of the calculation of design capacity required to serve new residential customers prepared under subparagraph (i) or (ii), the authority shall within 30 days obtain a written certification from another professional engineer, who is not an employee of the authority, verifying that the results and the calculations, methodology and measurement were performed in accordance with this title and generally accepted engineering practices. If an authority does not obtain a certification required under this subsection within 30 days of receiving such challenge, the authority may not impose or collect tapping fees based on any such challenged calculations or study until such engineering certification is obtained.

(f)  An authority may use lower design capacity requirements and impose lower tapping fees for multifamily residential dwellings than imposed on other types of residential customers.

(VI)  Separate accounting for future facility costs. Any portion of tapping fees collected which, based on facilities to be constructed or acquired in the future in accordance with this section, shall be separately accounted for and shall be expended only for that particular facility or a substitute facility accomplishing the same purpose which is commenced within the same period. Such accounting shall include, but not be limited to, the total fees collected as a result of including facilities to be constructed in the future, the source of the fees collected and the amount of fees expended on specific facilities. The proportionate share of tapping fees based upon facilities to be constructed or acquired in the future under this section shall be refunded to the payor of such fees within 90 days of the occurrence of the following:

(a)  the authority abandons its plan or a part thereof to construct or acquire a facility or facilities which are the basis for such fee; or

(b)  the facilities have not been placed into service within seven years, or, for an authority which provides service to five or more municipalities, the facilities have not been placed into service within 20 years, after adoption of a resolution which imposes tapping fees which are based upon facilities to be constructed or acquired in the future. Any refund of fees held for 20 years shall include interest for the period the money was held.

(VII)  Definitions. As used in this clause, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subclause:

"BOD5."  The five-day biochemical-oxygen demand.

"Design capacity."  For residential customers, the permitted or rated capacity of facilities expressed in million gallons per day. For nonresidential customers, design capacity may also be expressed in pounds of BOD5 per day, pounds of suspended solids per day or any other capacity-defining parameter that is separately and specifically set forth in the permit governing the operation of the system and based upon its original design as modified by those regulatory agencies having jurisdiction over these facilities. Additionally, for separate fire service customers, the permitted or rated capacity of fire service facilities may be expressed in peak flows. The units of measurement used to express design capacity shall be the same units of measurement used to express the system design capacity. Except as otherwise provided for special purpose facilities, design capacity may not be expressed in terms of equivalent dwelling units.

"Outstanding debt."  The principal amount outstanding of any bonds, notes, loans or other form of indebtedness used to finance or refinance facilities included in the tapping fee.

"Service line."  A water or sewer line that directly connects a single building or structure to a distribution or collection facility.

"System design capacity."  The design capacity of the system for which the tapping fee is being calculated which represents the total design capacity of the treatment facility or water sources.

(ii)  Every authority charging a tapping, customer facilities or connection fee shall do so only pursuant to a resolution adopted at a public meeting of the authority. The authority shall have available for public inspection a detailed itemization of all calculations, clearly showing the maximum fees allowable for each part of the tapping fee and the manner in which the fees were determined, which shall be made a part of any resolution imposing such fees. A tapping, customer facilities or connection fee may be revised and imposed upon those who subsequently connect to the system, subject to the provisions and limitations of the act.

(iii)  No authority shall have the power to impose a connection fee, customer facilities fee, tapping fee or similar fee except as provided specifically under this section.

(iv)  A municipality or municipal authority with available excess sewage capacity, wishing to sell a portion of that capacity to another municipality or municipal authority, may not charge a higher cost for the capacity portion of the tapping fee as the selling entity charges to its customers for the capacity portion of the tapping fee. In turn, the municipality or municipal authority buying this excess capacity may not charge a higher cost for the capacity portion of the tapping fee to its residential customers than that charged to them by the selling entity.

(v)  As used in this paragraph, the term "residential customer" shall also include those developing property for residential dwellings that require multiple tapping fee permits. This paragraph shall not be applicable to intermunicipal or interauthority agreements relative to the purchase of excess capacity by an authority or municipality in effect prior to February 20, 2001.

(25)  To construct tunnels, bridges, viaducts, underpasses or other structures and relocate the facilities of public service companies to effect or permit the abolition of a grade crossing or grade crossings subject to approval of and in accordance with a duly issued order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. A commission order shall provide that costs payable by a public utility, political subdivision, the Commonwealth or others shall be payable to the authority. Before proceedings are instituted before the commission, the authority and the public utilities or the political subdivisions shall enter an agreement to provide for the conveyance to the authority of title to the land, structure or improvement involved as security for bonds issued to finance the improvement and the leasing of the improvement to the utility or utilities or the political subdivision or subdivisions involved on such terms as will provide for interest and sinking fund charges on the bonds issued for the improvement.

(26)  To appoint police officers who shall have the same rights as other peace officers in this Commonwealth with respect to the property of the authority.

(27)  (i)  In the case of an authority created to provide business improvements and administrative services, to impose an assessment on each benefited property within a business improvement district. This assessment shall be based upon the estimated cost of the improvements and services in the district stated in the planning or feasibility study and shall be determined by one of the following methods:

(A)  The authority may determine an assessment determined by multiplying the total improvement and service cost by the ratio of the assessed value for real estate tax purposes of the benefited property to the total assessed value of all benefited properties in the district.

(B)  The authority may determine assessments upon the several properties in the district in proportion to benefits as ascertained by viewers appointed in accordance with municipal law.

(C)  If the district served by the authority contains single-family residential properties, including those that are part of a planned unit development, residential cooperative properties or condominium properties formed under 68 Pa.C.S. Pt. II Subpt. B (relating to condominiums) and other properties, the authority may elect to calculate assessments based on all of the following:

(I)  The business improvement district assessed value of each benefited single-family or residential cooperative property shall be one-half of the assessed value of the property for real estate tax purposes.

(II)  In the case of a condominium, the unit owners' association formed under 68 Pa.C.S. Pt. II Subpt. B shall be assessed. Individual units may not be assessed. The business improvement district assessed value of the unit owners' association shall be the sum of the assessed value for real estate tax purposes of any real estate owned by the association and such assessed value of all units, including their undivided interests in the common elements and any limited common elements, except that the value of any single-family residential unit shall be one-half of such assessed value of the unit for real estate tax purposes. The authority shall provide to the unit owners' association the calculation of the business improvement district assessed value of the unit owners' association, itemizing the assessed value of each unit as provided in this clause. The unit owners' association shall add to the condominium fee charged to a unit owner the amount of the district assessment attributable to the unit which amount shall be separately itemized on any assessment, invoice, bill or other document presented to the unit owner for payment of the condominium fee.

(III)  The district assessment shall be calculated on each benefited single-family residential property, benefited residential cooperative property and benefited unit owners' association by multiplying in each case the total improvement and services cost by the ratio of the district assessed value of the benefited single-family residential property, benefited residential cooperative property or benefited unit owners' association to the sum of the district assessed value of all benefited single-family residential properties, the district assessed value of all residential cooperative properties, the district assessed value of all benefited unit owners' associations and the assessed value of all remaining benefited properties in the business improvement district.

(IV)  The remaining benefited properties shall be assessed by multiplying in each case the total improvement and services cost by the ratio of the assessed value of the remaining benefited property to the sum of the district assessed value of all benefited single-family residential properties, the district assessed value of all residential cooperative properties, the district assessed value of all benefited unit owners' associations and the assessed value of all remaining benefited properties in the business improvement district.

(V)  An election by an authority under this clause shall not be revoked except through the procedures stated in subparagraph (ii) and subsection (g).

(ii)  An assessment or charge may not be made unless:

(A)  An authority submits a plan for business improvements and administrative services, together with estimated costs and the proposed method of assessments for business improvements and charges for administrative services, to the municipality in which the project is to be undertaken.

(B)  The municipality approves the plan, the estimated costs and the proposed method of assessment and charges.

(iii)  An authority may not assess charges against the improved properties in an aggregate amount in excess of the estimated cost.

(iv)  An authority may by resolution authorize payment of an assessment or charge in equal, annual or more frequent installments over a fixed period of time and bearing interest of 6% or less. If bonds, notes or guarantees are used to raise revenue to provide for the cost of improvements or services, the installments shall not be payable beyond the term for which the bonds, notes or guarantees are payable.

(v)  Claims to secure the payment of assessments shall be entered in the prothonotary's office of the county at the same time and in the same form and shall be collected in the same manner as municipal claims are filed and collected notwithstanding the provisions of this section as to installment payments.

(vi)  In case of default of 60 days or more after an installment is due, the entire assessment and interest shall be due.

(vii)  An owner of property against whom an assessment has been made may pay the assessment in full at any time along with accrued interest and costs. Upon proof of payment the lien shall be discharged.

(viii)  For purposes of determining assessments in accordance with subparagraph (i)(A) and (C), the assessed value of a benefited property shall be without reduction for any value attributable to improvements for which an exemption or abatement has been granted under law.

(ix)  Any claim entered to secure the payment of an assessment against a unit owners' association shall be enforceable as a judgment for money against the unit owners' association within the meaning of and under the provisions of 68 Pa.C.S. § 3319 (relating to other liens affecting the condominium), provided that if an assessment against a unit owners' association is paid in part and the unit owners' association specifies in writing to the authority the units with respect to which full payment was made, the claim shall not be enforceable against units with respect to which full payment was made or against the unit owners' association. An authority shall discharge a lien against a unit owners' association to the extent that it constitutes a lien on a particular unit upon proof of payment, either to the unit owners' association or to the authority, by the owner of the particular unit of his itemized share of the assessment on the unit owners' association.

(x)  An authority that has made an election under subparagraph (i)(C) may further elect to calculate, for the assessment years included in a plan and budget, the assessments on single-family residential properties, including those that are part of a planned unit development, residential cooperative properties and residential condominium properties, at the lower of the amount determined under subparagraph (i)(C) or that aggregate value of assessments that will not exceed 5% of the authority's total annual assessments, subject to the following:

(A)  Any aggregate reduction in assessments on residential properties shall increase the assessments on the remaining properties in proportion to the assessments of the remaining properties calculated under subparagraph (i)(C)(IV).

(B)  Any further election shall be made for all assessment years included in a plan and budget, except that, for a current plan and budget, the further election shall be made for the years remaining in the plan and budget. Once made, the further election shall remain in effect for all such assessment years included in the plan and budget.

(C)  An authority making the further election shall hold a hearing on the proposed method of calculation. Written notice of the hearing shall be given to all owners of properties assessed by the district at least 30 days prior to the hearing. The notice shall state the proposed method of calculation.

(D)  The authority shall take no action on the proposed method of calculation if objection is made in writing by owners of properties representing one-third of the amount of all assessments in the district. In the case of a condominium formed under 68 Pa.C.S. Pt. II Subpt. B, the condominium association and all condominium units shall be treated as one property, valued in the manner described in subparagraph (i)(C)(II). Any objection must be made within 30 days of the hearing in writing signed by the property owner and filed in the registered office of the authority.

(E)  No further hearing shall be required, no amendment of the authority's plan and budget shall be required and no action on the part of the municipality shall be required.

(28)  To adopt rules and regulations to provide for the safety of persons using facilities of an airport authority pertaining to vehicular traffic control. Police officers appointed under paragraph (26) shall enforce them.

(29)  To provide financing for insurance reserves by making loans evidenced and secured by loan agreements, security agreements or other instruments or agreements. These instruments or agreements may contain provisions the authority deems necessary or desirable for the security or protection of the authority or its bondholders.

(30)  Where a sewer or water system of an authority is to be extended at the expense of the owner of properties or where the authority otherwise would construct customer facilities referred to in paragraph (24), other than water meter installation, a property owner shall have the right to construct the extension or install the customer facilities himself or through a subcontractor approved by the authority, which approval shall not be unreasonably withheld. The authority shall have the right, at its option, to perform the construction itself only if the authority provides the extension or customer facilities at a lower cost and within the same timetable specified or proposed by the property owner or his approved subcontractor. Construction by the property owner shall be in accordance with an agreement for the extension of the authority's system and plans and specifications approved by the authority and shall be undertaken only pursuant to the existing regulations, requirements, rules and standards of the authority applicable to such construction. Construction shall be subject to inspection by an inspector authorized to approve similar construction and employed by the authority during construction. When a main is to be extended at the expense of the owner of properties, the property owner may be required to deposit with the authority, in advance of construction, the authority's estimated reasonable and necessary cost of reviewing plans, construction inspections, administrative, legal and engineering services. The authority may require that construction shall not commence until the property owner has posted appropriate financial security in accordance with paragraph (23). The authority may require the property owner to reimburse it for reasonable and necessary expenses it incurred as a result of the extension. If an independent firm is employed for engineering review of the plans and the inspection of improvements, reimbursement for its services shall be reasonable and in accordance with the ordinary and customary fees charged by the independent firm for work performed for similar services in the community. The fees shall not exceed the rate or cost charged by the independent firm to the authority when fees are not reimbursed or otherwise imposed on applicants. Upon completion of construction, the property owner shall dedicate and the authority shall accept the extension of the authority's system if dedication of facilities and the installation complies with the plans, specifications, regulations of the authority and the agreement. An authority may provide in its regulations those facilities which, having been constructed at the expense of the owner of properties, the authority will require to be dedicated and which facility or facilities the authority will accept as a part of its system.

(i)  In the event the property owner disputes the amount of any billing in connection with the review of plans, construction inspections, administrative, legal and engineering services, the property owner shall, within 60 days of the date of billing, notify the authority that the billing is disputed as excessive, unreasonable or unnecessary, in which case the authority shall not delay or disapprove any application or any approval or permit related to the extension or facilities due to the property owner's dispute over the disputed billings unless the property owner has failed to make payment in accordance with the decision rendered under clause (iii) within 60 days after the mailing date of such decision.

(ii)  If, within 60 days from the date of billing, the authority and the property owner cannot agree on the amount of billings which are reasonable and necessary, the property owner shall have the right to request the appointment of another professional consultant to serve as arbitrator. The property owner and the authority whose fees are being challenged shall, by mutual agreement, appoint a professional of the same profession or discipline licensed in Pennsylvania to review the billings and make a determination as to the amount of billings which is reasonable and necessary.

(iii)  The professional appointed as arbitrator under clause (ii) shall hear evidence and review the documentation as the professional in his or her sole opinion deems necessary and shall render a decision within 50 days of the date of appointment. Based upon the decision of the arbitrator, the property owner or authority shall be required to pay any amounts necessary to implement the decision within 60 days. In the event the property owner has paid the authority or retained professional consultant an amount in excess of the amount determined to be reasonable and necessary, the authority or retained professional consultant shall within 60 days reimburse the excess payment.

(iv)  In the event that the authority and property owner cannot agree upon the professional to be appointed within 20 days of the request for appointment of an arbitrator, the president judge of the court of common pleas of the judicial district in which the municipality is located, or if at the time there is no president judge, the senior active judge then sitting upon application of either party shall appoint a professional, who shall be neither the authority engineer nor any professional who has been retained by or performed services for the authority or the property owner within the preceding five years.

(v)  The fee of the arbitrator shall be paid by the property owner if the disputed fee is upheld by the arbitrator. The fee of the arbitrator shall be paid by the authority if the disputed fee is $2,500 or greater than the payment decided by the arbitrator. The fee of the arbitrator shall be paid in an equal amount by the property owner and the authority if the disputed fee is less than $2,500 of the payment decided by the arbitrator.

(vi)  In the event that the disputed fees have been paid and the arbitrator finds that the disputed fees are unreasonable or excessive by more than $10,000, the arbitrator shall:

(A)  award the amount of the fees found to be unreasonable or excessive to the party that paid the disputed fee; and

(B)  impose a surcharge of 4% of the amount found as unreasonable or excessive to be paid to the party that paid the disputed fee.

(vii)  An authority or property owner shall have 100 days after paying a fee to dispute any fee charged as being unreasonable or excessive.

(31)  Where a property owner constructs or causes to be constructed at his expense any extension of a sewer or water system of an authority, the authority shall provide for the reimbursement to the property owner when the owner of another property not in the development for which the extension was constructed connects a service line directly to the extension within ten years of the date of the dedication of the extension to the authority in accordance with the following provisions:

(i)  Reimbursement shall be equal to the distribution or collection part of each tapping fee collected as a result of subsequent connections. An authority may deduct from each reimbursement payment an amount equal to 5% of it for administrative expenses and services rendered in calculating, collecting, monitoring and disbursing the reimbursement payments to the property owner.

(ii)  Reimbursement shall be limited to those lines which have not previously been paid for by the authority.

(iii)  The authority shall, in preparing necessary reimbursement agreements with a property owner for whose benefit reimbursement will be provided, attach as an exhibit an itemized listing of all sewer and water facilities for which reimbursement shall be provided.

(iv)  The total reimbursement which a property owner may receive may not exceed the cost of labor and material, engineering design charges, the cost of performance and maintenance bonds, authority review and inspection charges as well as flushing and televising charges and any and all charges involved in the acceptance and dedication of such facilities by the authority, less the amount which would be chargeable to the property owner based upon the authority's collection and distribution tapping fees which would be applicable to all lands of the property owner directly or indirectly served through extensions if the property owner did not fund the extension.

(v)  An authority shall notify by certified mail, to the last known address, the property owner for whose benefit a reimbursement shall apply. This shall be done within 30 days of the authority's receipt of the reimbursement payment. If a property owner does not claim a reimbursement payment within 120 days after the mailing of the notice, the payment shall become the sole property of the authority with no further obligation on the part of the authority to refund the payment to the property owner.

(32)  (Deleted by amendment).

(33)  Provisions of paragraphs (30) and (31) shall apply to residential customers in a municipality where the sewer service is being purchased by the municipality or sewer authority from another municipality or sewer authority having excess sewage capacity.

(34)  In the case of an authority that performs storm water planning, management and implementation, reasonable and uniform rates may be based in whole or in part on property characteristics, which may include installation and maintenance of best management practices approved and inspected by the authority.

(e)  Prohibition.--

(1)  An authority may not pledge the credit or taxing power of the Commonwealth or its political subdivision.

(2)  The obligations of an authority are not obligations of the Commonwealth or its political subdivision.

(3)  Neither the Commonwealth nor a political subdivision shall be liable for the payment of principal of or interest on obligations of an authority.

(f)  Authorization to control airports.--Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent an authority which owns or operates an airport as a project from leasing airport land on a short-term or long-term basis for commercial, industrial or residential purposes when the land is not immediately needed for aviation or aeronautical purposes in the judgment of the authority.

(g)  Authorization to make business improvements and provide administrative services.--An authority may be established to make business improvements or provide administrative services in districts designated by a municipality or by municipalities acting jointly and zoned commercial or used for general commercial purposes or in contiguous areas if the inclusion of a contiguous area is directly related to the improvements and services proposed by the authority. The authority shall make planning or feasibility studies to determine needed improvements or administrative services. The following shall also apply:

(1)  The authority shall be required to hold a public hearing on the proposed improvement or service, the estimated costs thereof and the proposed method of assessment and charges. Notice of the hearing shall be advertised at least ten days before it occurs in a newspaper whose circulation is within the municipality where the authority is established. At the public hearing any interested party may be heard.

(2)  Written notice of the proposed improvement or service, its estimated cost, the proposed method of assessment and charges and project cost to individual property owners shall be given to each property owner and commercial lessee in benefited properties in the district at least 30 days prior to the public hearing.

(3)  Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (4), the authority shall take no action on proposed improvement or service if objection is made in writing by:

(i)  persons representing the ownership of one-third of the benefited properties in the district; or

(ii)  property owners of the proposed district whose property valuation as assessed for taxable purposes shall amount to more than one-third of the total property valuation of the district.

(4)  In the case of an authority that has elected to make assessments under subsection (d)(27)(i)(C), the objections in writing must be made by either:

(i)  one-third of the owners of benefited commercial properties; or

(ii)  owners of properties representing one-third of the amount of all business improvement district assessments for the first year of the proposed plan and budget after the reduction in district assessments under subsection (d)(27)(i)(C).

For purposes of calculating one-third of the benefited commercial properties, the term benefited commercial properties shall include all nonresidential property, each condominium association formed under 68 Pa.C.S. Pt. II Subpt. B as one property and may not include any individual condominium so formed nor any single-family residential property.

(5)  Objection must be made within 45 days after the conclusion of the public hearing. Objections must be in writing, signed and filed in the office of the governing body of the municipality in which the district is located and in the registered office of the authority.

53c5607v

(Dec. 17, 2001, P.L.926, No.110, eff. imd.; Dec. 30, 2003, P.L.404, No.57; Feb. 14, 2012, P.L.83, No.12, eff. 60 days; Oct. 24, 2012, P.L.1263, No.155, eff. 60 days; July 9, 2013, P.L.569, No.68, eff. 60 days; Dec. 23, 2013, P.L.1254, No.128, eff. 60 days; July 9, 2014, P.L.1045, No.123, eff. 60 days; July 7, 2017, P.L.299, No.19, eff. 60 days)

 

2017 Amendment.  Act 19 amended subsec. (d)(24)(i)(C)(VI)(b).

2014 Amendment.  Act 123 added subsec. (d)(34).

2013 Amendments.  Act 68 added subsec. (a)(18) and Act 128 added subsec. (d)(27)(x).

2012 Amendments.  Act 12 amended subsecs. (d)(27) and (g) and Act 155 amended subsec. (d)(23) and (30).

2003 Amendment.  Act 57 amended subsec. (d)(17), (24), (30) and (33) and deleted subsec. (d)(32), effective immediately as to subsec. (d)(17) and 18 months as to the remainder of the section. See sections 2, 3 and 4 of Act 57 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to applicability to connection, customer facilities, tapping or similar fees, applicability of mandatory refund provisions and applicability to sewer tapping fees and original financing.

2001 Amendment.  Act 110 amended subsecs. (a) intro. par., (d)(9), (10), (11), (22), (23), (24)(i)(B) and (v) and (32), (e)(1) and (g) intro. par., retroactive to June 19, 2001.

Cross References.  Section 5607 is referred to in section 5613 of this title; sections 2053, 2463 of Title 8 (Boroughs and Incorporated Towns); section 13201.1 of Title 11 (Cities).