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DRAVOSBURG HOUSING ASSOCIATION v. BOROUGH DRAVOSBURG AND DRAVOSBURG SANITARY AUTHORITY (01/12/83)

decided: January 12, 1983.

DRAVOSBURG HOUSING ASSOCIATION, APPELLANT
v.
THE BOROUGH OF DRAVOSBURG AND THE DRAVOSBURG SANITARY AUTHORITY, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of Dravosburg Housing Association, a non-profit corporation v. The Borough of Dravosburg and The Dravosburg Sanitary Authority, No. GD 78-26130.

COUNSEL

Bart M. Beier, for appellant.

W. J. Helzlsouer, Shuster and Helzlsouer, for appellee, Borough of Dravosburg.

Arnold V. Plum, with him W. Richard Booth, Plum & Booth, for appellee, The Dravosburg Sanitary Authority.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges MacPhail and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 71 Pa. Commw. Page 145]

Sometime prior to 1964, the Dravosburg Housing Association (Association), a Pennsylvania non-profit corporation, purchased from the United States government, a housing development in the Borough of Dravosburg (Borough) consisting of some 250 housing units, the land on which the buildings were erected, and the streets, utility lines and sewage lines which were connected to the buildings and ran under the streets. Subsequently, the Borough created the Dravosburg Sanitary Authority (Authority) to put in place a sewage system for the Borough and adopted an ordinance requiring all residents of the Borough to become a part of and make use of the sanitation facilities. The Association then brought an action in equity against the Authority and the Borough alleging that it had its own sewage system and, therefore, should not be required to become a part of the Authority's sewage facility system.

That litigation was resolved by a consent decree dated July 16, 1964 which is at the heart of the instant appeal. By its terms, the decree provided that the Association would grant and convey to the Borough the streets it owned and the sewage facilities it owned.

[ 71 Pa. Commw. Page 146]

More pertinent to the instant appeal was the following language in the decree:

3. It having been estimated that the initial annual maintenance cost of the sewer system to be constructed by the Defendant, Dravosburg Sanitary Authority, will be approximately $25,000.00, and that the Defendants having estimated the share of said cost to be borne by Plaintiff to be approximately 25% or approximately $6,250.00, based on a previously proposed unit system of calculating charges, and Defendants, recognizing the savings to them involved in the servicing of large consumers, Defendant, Borough of Dravosburg, shall cause to be enacted the necessary Ordinances to effectuate a maintenance cost schedule based on water use, said schedule to contemplate a graduated blockrate with the result that Plaintiff's share of the total annual maintenance cost shall be approximately 20% or approximately $5,000.00, as based on present estimates.

Additionally, the decree provided that:

4. The within decree shall be finally determinative of the issues between the parties hereto and the above captioned action shall be and the same hereby is dismissed ...


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