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Officials Meet over Stormwater Fee Outcry

HANOVER TOWNSHIP, Pa. — After meetings, phone calls, and emails, the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority wants the public to know their voices are being hea...

HANOVER TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- After meetings, phone calls, and emails, the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority wants the public to know their voices are being heard.

Officials from the authority held a news conference Friday afternoon to let customers know they are trying to do something about a new stormwater fee.

Officials tell Newswatch 16 they've heard all the complaints and questions about a new stormwater fee and wanted to better communicate with customers.

Officials held a meeting to apologize for all the confusion and to let people know their voices are being heard.

People in 32 communities in Luzerne County pay sewer bills to the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority. The agency is now billing the owners of more than 85,000 homes, businesses, and empty lots a stormwater runoff fee. The fee adds about $14 to many of the monthly bills.

It's required by the federal government to reduce pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.

In the meeting, officials said they are planning to explore legal options to reduce or eliminate the new stormwater fee.

"Everything is on the table, everything to make this fair and tolerable. No one wants to pay this fee. I do not want to pay this fee, but it is a reality that has been put on us through governmental agencies," said authority board chairman Samuel Guesto.

Officials added that in the future, they plan to hold meetings for the public to voice their questions and concerns.