York City eyes shifting sewer billing to York Water Co.

Rebecca Klar
York Dispatch
The York Water Company files a rate request with the state Public Utility Commission. (Amanda J. Cain)

After years of resident and employee complaints about mishandled York City sewer bills, the administration unveiled during a Tuesday, Oct. 16, city council meeting a proposal to shift sewage and refuse billing to the York Water Co. 

If approved, the proposal would save the city around $125,000, said city business administrator Tommy Williams. 

The proposed deal with York Water will cost about $490,000, he said, adding the city currently spends about $615,000 on in-house billing. 

The city council will further discuss the proposal with the administration at an upcoming committee meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24. The council will likely vote on the proposal during its regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 20. 

The mayor's office alone has received 241 emails, 74 app submissions and 89 social media comments complaining about sewer billing issues, said city spokesman Phillip Given.

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The problems are not the fault of the employees, he said. 

"It's a broken system they're currently trying to work in," Given said. 

The in-house billing is currently tapping out the resources of the finance department and spilling over into other departments, he said. 

York Water Co. is already equipped to handle the billing, said J.T. Hand, the company's chief operating officer. 

York Water currently processes 70,000 water bills every month, in addition to 16,000 sewer bills for seven different municipalities, he said.

The customer service personnel and technology are already in place, Hand said. 

In other business: During the meeting, the city council also appointed Ruth Robbins to the Historical Architectural Review Board, and pulled an agenda item regarding appointing Anthony Cucuzella's to the zoning hearing board. 

Robbins will fill a vacant seat that expires in January 2022. 

Editor's note: This story has been updated to accurately reflect that Cucazella's appointment was pulled from the meeting agenda.