Antrim gets aggressive on delinquent sewer customers

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot

The Antrim Township board of supervisors is fed up with sewer customers refusing to pay their overdue bills. They decided at the Sept. 10 meeting to take the next step in collecting the $110,000 owed the township for services rendered.

“We need to put teeth behind this and get aggressive,” said Pat Heraty.

Support came from James Byers, Rick Baer, John Alleman and Fred Young III.

Antrim secretary Jennifer Becknell explained the three types of cases sitting on the books.

Civil suits had been filed in Magisterial District Judge Duane Cunningham’s office in March against 24 customers, and judgments had been issued on all of them. Two were paying on their bills, with 17 cases yet outstanding.

In the next category, municipal liens had been filed on 26 properties, and two of those customers had paid their balances, said Becknell. The third type of case involved 45 accounts with payment agreements, but only 30 had made some remuneration.

Any appeals in court had favored Antrim, Becknell said.

The board agreed to seek execution sales for the first group of delinquents, since they already had liens against the real estate. A constable would get involved, and personal property could be sold to pay the sewer bills. Antrim would file civil complaints against customers in the second group and file liens on the third if they did not meet a deadline to submit payments.

“It’s time to lower the hammer,” said Baer.

Other business

Zoning officer Sylvia House said, with the approval of the final land development plan, that Taco Bell would soon start construction of its restaurant on John Wayne Drive. Though some citizens were hopeful, she did not believe a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet was part of the plan.

Parks director Mike Condo favored hiring a company to do line painting at Antrim Township Community Park. The $3,428 was in the budget and would cover parking stalls, crosswalks and road markings at a better price than could be done in-house.

Condo said the dog park was about done, but they were waiting for the grass to grow in before opening it to the public.

Discussion on enacting a Local Services Tax, commonly $52 per person working in the township, was postponed. Antrim administrator Brad Graham said the board had looked into adopting the tax in early 2006 but voted it down, and not shown support when the idea was revived the following October. The board last week wanted to know the deadline for approving it to take effect in 2014.

Bids for landscaping and site work for the municipal building renovations were rejected. Heraty called even the lowest bid of $46,000 “outrageous”. The supervisors called for the staff to review the duties needed to be done, and find out what could be handled by employees.