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WHITE ROCK SEWAGE CORPORATION v. TOWNSHIP MONROE (09/12/83)

decided: September 12, 1983.

WHITE ROCK SEWAGE CORPORATION, APPELLANT
v.
TOWNSHIP OF MONROE, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Cumberland County in case of Township of Monroe v. White Rock Sewage Corporation, No. 2315 Civil 1980.

COUNSEL

Melville G. M. Walwyn, with him William G. Dade, Dade & Walwyn, for appellant.

Richard C. Snelbaker, Snelbaker, McCaleb & Elicker, for appellee.

Judges Blatt, Craig and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.

Author: Doyle

[ 77 Pa. Commw. Page 120]

Petitioner White Rock Sewage Corporation (White Rock) appeals an order of the Cumberland County Court of Common Pleas entering judgment against White Rock and in favor of Monroe Township. We affirm.

White Rock operates a sewage collection system as a public utility for the White Rock Acres subdivision located in Monroe Township. On April 27, 1978 White Rock entered into an agreement with Monroe Township under which the Township agreed to process White Rock's sewage at a municipal sewage treatment facility.*fn1 The agreement specified no fee scale, but

[ 77 Pa. Commw. Page 121]

White Rock agreed to be bound by the Township's rates, rules and regulations to be enacted at a future date. Negotiations were then held in which White Rock and the Township informally agreed upon a metered rate of $3.65 per 1,000 gallons of sewage. On June 22, 1978 Monroe Township enacted a sewage rate Ordinance which established a metered rate of $3.65 per 1,000 gallons to be applicable to a certain classification of customers. The Ordinance failed, however, to include White Rock's sewage collection system within any classification of customers.*fn2

In August of 1978 White Rock connected its system to the municipal treatment facility and was billed at the metered rate of $3.65 per 1,000 gallons. White Rock made payments at this rate until September of 1979, when it refused to make further payments.

[ 77 Pa. Commw. Page 122]

Monroe Township filed an assumpsit action in the Cumberland County Court of Common Pleas, and on March 4, 1982, that court entered judgment against White Rock, awarding Monroe Township the unpaid fees.*fn3 White Rock appeals the court's decision.

White Rock contends that the trial court erred in finding that it had agreed to pay the metered rate of $3.65 per 1,000 gallons. In reviewing the decision of a trial court we are limited to a consideration of whether findings of fact are supported by substantial evidence and whether the law was properly applied to the instant facts. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Traffic Safety v. Volmer, 41 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 286, 398 A.2d 1098 (1979). After a thorough review of the record, we find that the court based its decision on uncontradicted testimony that White Rock had negotiated, and agreed upon the metered rate later embodied in the Ordinance. In addition, the court placed importance on the fact that White Rock paid this rate ...


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