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DEER CREEK DRAINAGE BASIN AUTHORITY v. PACOMA (08/07/86)

decided: August 7, 1986.

DEER CREEK DRAINAGE BASIN AUTHORITY, A MUNICIPAL AUTHORITY, APPELLANT
v.
PACOMA, INC., (CONSTANTINI) OR REPUTED OWNERS OR WHOEVER MAY BE OWNERS, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, in case of Pacoma, Inc. v. Deer Creek Drainage Basin Authority, No. 81-24139.

COUNSEL

David E. Johnson, Tarasi, Tighe, Tierney & Johnson, P.C. for appellant.

Leonard M. Mendelson, with him, Andrew Raynovich, Hollinshead and Mendelson, for appellees.

Judges MacPhail and Colins, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 99 Pa. Commw. Page 506]

This is an appeal by Deer Creek Drainage Basin Authority (Authority) from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County granting the petition of Pacoma, Inc. (Pacoma) to strike off a municipal lien. We affirm.

The sole issue in the case involves the interpretation of Section 606 of the Eminent Domain Code (Code), Act of June 22, 1964, Special Sess., P.L. 84, as amended, 26 P.S. § 1-606.*fn1

From the record we ascertain that on December 30, 1977 the Authority initiated a condemnation proceeding against Pacoma by filing a declaration of taking for the construction of a sanitary sewage collection and transportation system. A board of viewers was appointed at Pacoma's request which board awarded damages to Pacoma. At the hearing before that board, testimony was received from the Authority indicating that the Authority, pursuant to the provisions of Section 4.B(s) of the Municipal Authorities Act of 1945, Act of May 2,

[ 99 Pa. Commw. Page 5071945]

, P.L. 382, as amended, 53 P.S. § 306.B(s), determined that the front foot method of assessment of property owners for the cost of the sewer system should be utilized and that the figure of $7.00 per front foot was to be used for that purpose.

Pacoma appealed from the viewers' award. A jury trial was held and Pacoma was awarded a verdict of $45,545.00. At the trial, counsel for the Authority indicated that he was aware that the Authority was under an instruction from the court to present evidence it had with regard to benefits the Pacoma property realized as a result of the condemnation proceedings.*fn2 During the course of the trial, Pacoma's president was asked if the sewer line would benefit the property in any way. He replied in the negative.*fn3 The Authority's appraiser was asked the same question and replied, "yes sir, it is."*fn4 There was no elaboration on that answer and no reference made to the front foot assessment or to any other value of the benefit to the property.

No request was made by the Authority for a special charge on the matter of benefit to the Pacoma property and none ...


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