Appeal from Common Pleas Court, Blair County; Honorable Thomas G. Peoples, Jr., Judge.
Karen L. Steele, Leopold, Eberhardt & Goldstein, Altoona, for appellant.
Michael W. Chorazy, Evey, Routch, Black, Dorezas, Magee & Andrews, Hollidaysburg, for appellee.
Doyle and Barry, JJ., and Narick, Senior Judge. Barry, J., concurs in the result only.
[ 130 Pa. Commw. Page 159]
Pennco Builders, Inc. (Pennco) appeals from an order of the Blair County Court of Common Pleas, which in effect granted summary judgment in favor of the Blair Township Water and Sewer Authority (Authority) to the extent that it held that Pennco was not entitled to a refund of tapping fees for water and sewer connections. We affirm.
As the private corporate owner of Penn Farm Estates, a sixty-seven lot residential subdivision located in Blair Township,
[ 130 Pa. Commw. Page 160]
Holidaysburg, Pennsylvania, Pennco was required to construct extensions of water and sewer mains into the subdivision in order to obtain approval for it from the Authority. Later, Pennco also built lateral surface lines to each lot, again to fulfill the Authority's requirements. These costs were in excess of $120,000.
Pennco paid water and sewer tapping fees and obtained permits from the Authority before connecting lateral surface lines to the mains. This tapping fee was in excess of $60,000. Pennco now asserts that the Authority has a mandatory duty to refund that tapping fee.
The issue is whether Section 4 B(t) of the Municipality Authorities Act of 1945*fn1 mandates the Authority to refund tapping fees to Pennco when Pennco constructed part of a sewer and water system at its own expense. Section 4 B(t) reads as follows:
B. Every Authority is hereby granted, and shall have and may exercise all powers necessary or convenient for the carrying out of the aforesaid purposes, including but without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the following rights and powers:
(t) To charge a tapping fee whenever the owner of any property connects such property with a sewer system or water main constructed by the Authority which fee shall be in addition to any charges assessed and collected against such property in the construction of such sewer or water main by the Authority or any rental charges assessed by the Authority. Whenever a sewer system or water main or any part or extension thereof owned by an authority has been constructed by the authority at the expense of a private person or corporation or has been constructed by a private person or corporation under the supervision of the authority at ...