Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, in case of Middletown Township, Delaware County, Sewer Authority and The Township of Middletown v. Glen Riddle Park, Inc., No. 334 of 1971.
F. Martin Duus, with him Arthur Levy, Stephen J. McEwen, Jr. and Fronefield, deFuria and Petrikin, for appellants.
David A. Franklin, with him Robert B. Surrick, Harry F. Dunn, Jr. and Townsend, Elliott & Munson, for appellees.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.
[ 11 Pa. Commw. Page 576]
This is an appeal from an Opinion and Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County dated April 2, 1973, sustaining the validity of the sewer rental rate ordinances of Middletown Township and the rates imposed thereunder, and entering judgment in favor of the said Township against Glen Riddle Park, Inc.
This action was instituted by Middletown Township (Township) and the Middletown Township, Delaware County, Sewer Authority (Authority) by the filing of a municipal lien against Glen Riddle Park, Inc. (Glen Riddle) for unpaid sewer rentals. (The remaining Appellants were permitted to intervene by stipulation in the action in the court below.)
Glen Riddle is the owner of property in Middletown Township upon which has been constructed a 99 unit apartment complex. Glen Riddle is serviced by a sewer main constructed by the above-mentioned Sewer Authority.
The Authority was organized and incorporated by Middletown Township, a Township of the Second Class, pursuant to the Municipality Authorities Act, Act of May 2, 1945, P.L. 382, as amended, 53 P.S. § 301, for the purpose of financing, constructing, and leasing a sanitary sewage disposal system in the Chester Creek Watershed of the Township.
The Authority constructed the system with funds obtained from bonds issued by the Authority on May 8, 1968 in the principal sum of $2,980,000. The sewer system was then leased by the Authority to the Township by a "Sewer System Lease" dated May 1, 1968. The lease rental under the agreement was fixed at a level sufficient to meet the amortization of the Authority's bond issue, and the expenses of administration, operation, maintenance and treatment. The lease contains a covenant that the Township will enact ordinances imposing annual sewer rentals and other charges
[ 11 Pa. Commw. Page 577]
on the users of the system sufficient to pay the lease rentals.
On May 2, 1968, the Township enacted Ordinance No. 106 which established a flat quarterly sewer rental of $40.20 per dwelling unit, house or apartment, and also imposed sewer rentals on commercial and industrial establishments based upon ...