AN ACT

 

1Amending Title 53 (Municipalities Generally) of the Pennsylvania
2Consolidated Statutes, in municipal authorities, further
3providing for definitions and for purposes and powers.

4The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
5hereby enacts as follows:

6Section 1. Section 5602 of Title 53 of the Pennsylvania
7Consolidated Statutes is amended by adding definitions to read:

8§ 5602. Definitions.

9The following words and phrases when used in this chapter
10shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
11context clearly indicates otherwise:

12* * *

13"Commercial property." A property which is predominantly
14utilized for the sale of goods or services or is otherwise an
15income producing property, including, but not limited to, an
16office building, apartment complex or manufactured or industrial
17housing community. To be considered a commercial property, an
18apartment complex or a manufactured or industrial housing

1community must contain multiple dwelling units or spaces which
2are made available for lease and, if the service is metered, is
3serviced by a single meter for which payment for services is the
4responsibility of the property owner.

5* * *

6"Industrial property." A property which is predominantly
7utilized for the manufacture or assembly of goods.

8* * *

9"Residential property." A property upon which is located a
10housing unit predominantly utilized as a principal residence,
11secondary residence, summer residence, vacation residence or
12some other dwelling place and for which services are
13individually metered or billed.

14* * *

15Section 2. Section 5607(d)(9) of Title 53 is amended and the
16subsection is amended by adding a paragraph to read:

17§ 5607. Purposes and powers.

18* * *

19(d) Powers.--Every authority may exercise all powers
20necessary or convenient for the carrying out of the purposes set
21forth in this section, including, but without limiting the
22generality of the foregoing, the following rights and powers:

23* * *

24(9) To fix, alter, charge and collect rates and other
25charges in the area served by its facilities at reasonable
26and uniform rates [to be] which are reasonably related to the 
27costs associated with the service being provided and
28determined exclusively by it for the purpose of providing for
29the payment of the expenses of the authority, the
30construction, improvement, repair, maintenance and operation

1of its facilities and properties and, in the case of an
2authority created for the purpose of making business
3improvements or providing administrative services, a charge
4for such services which is to be based on actual benefits and
5which may be measured on, among other things, gross sales or
6gross or net profits, the payment of the principal of and
7interest on its obligations and to fulfill the terms and
8provisions of any agreements made with the purchasers or
9holders of any such obligations, or with a municipality and
10to determine by itself exclusively the services and
11improvements required to provide adequate, safe and
12reasonable service, including extensions thereof, in the
13areas served. In determining rates and charges for water and 
14sewer authorities, the authority shall allocate rates and 
15charges based on residential property, commercial property 
16and industrial property classes. Authorities shall establish 
17subclasses for each property class based on meter size if 
18meters are used in the provision of service. Such rates and 
19charges, and the calculations made to determine that such 
20rates and charges are reasonable, uniform and reasonably 
21related to the costs associated with the services provided, 
22shall be made available to the public and rate payers at 
23least 30 days prior to the date that such rates become 
24effective. If the service area includes more than one
25municipality, the revenues from any project shall not be
26expended directly or indirectly on any other project unless
27such expenditures are made for the benefit of the entire
28service area. Any person questioning the reasonableness or
29uniformity of a rate fixed by an authority or the adequacy,
30safety and reasonableness of the authority's services,

1including extensions thereof, may bring suit against the
2authority in the court of common pleas of the county where
3the project is located or, if the project is located in more
4than one county, in the court of common pleas of the county
5where the principal office of the project is located. The
6court of common pleas shall have exclusive jurisdiction to
7determine questions involving rates or service. Except in
8municipal corporations having a population density of 300
9persons or more per square mile, all owners of real property
10in eighth class counties may decline in writing the services
11of a solid waste authority.

12(9.1) In the case of an authority which assesses a
13minimum periodic usage charge for water service to its
14customers, such usage charge may be no greater than the
15average actual usage for such periods plus 15%. In
16determining the average actual usage, the authority shall
17examine the actual usage for the previous three years of
18service. For new service to a property, the minimum periodic
19usage charge for water service shall be no more than the
20average charge for properties of the same classification and
21meter size as the property for which new service is provided.

22* * *

23Section 3. This act shall take effect in 90 days.