Catasauqua Press

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Hanover introduces new software for sewer bills

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

At Hanover Township Council’s regular meeting Feb. 21, acting township Manager Vicky Roth announced new software was implemented for residents who use Bethlehem’s water.

“Implementing the new software took some time,” she said. “We received calls from residents and business owners who were expecting a sewer bill in January. That billing was delayed, and the new bills are now out.”

The new software is an improvement, Roth said, adding bills are expected to be on the normal billing cycle starting with the second quarter.

Before the regular meeting, council heard a presentation on PennBid from Freddy Lynch. PennBid is a software program endorsed by the state that organizes the bidding process.

“The software is flexible enough that you can customize it to meet your specific demands,” Lynch said.

One customization the township says is needed concerns checks.

“Some of our bidders do not post a bid bond, or the cost of the project is such that a bid bond is too expensive,” Solicitor Jackson Eaton said.

Lynch offered three options that the township could adopt.

The township could require that a check be delivered to the office at the bid deadline.

“An option most municipalities use is to have a copy of the check included as part of the PennBid package. If the bidder is one of the finalists, then they need to deliver the check,” Lynch said.

The other option is to require the check if the bid is accepted.

The bidding software reduces costs to copy the request. Only the winning bidder has to pay the PennBid fee of one-quarter of 1 percent. The low cost to bid encourages more bidders.

Council was impressed with the package.

“The only question we have is where do we sign,” Chairman Bruce Paulus said.

Eaton wants to make a few procedural changes in the legalese of the Home Rule Charter. It will take weeks but might be ready for the next council meeting.

Township Engineer Albert Kortze offered to delay bidding work on Sherwood Park enhancements until Penn- Bid could be used, but council does not want to delay the Sherwood Park improvements.

After the changes are made by Easton, all municipal bids will be handled under PennBid.

Council will also reroute a sewer line from an old line to a new line. The homeowner had a backup and called a plumber to clear the line. The blockage was in the main line. The residence is the only house on the older sewer main. The owner asked for relief from potential reconnection fees and permits. Council granted the request and directed public works to close and seal the old main.