In Harleysville Homestead, Inc. v. Lower Salford Township Authority, 980 A.2d 749 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2009), a residential developer applied to the authority to secure public sanitary sewer service for its development. The developer and the authority entered into an agreement for the construction of sewer lines, under which the developer agreed to pay a certain tapping fee per dwelling unit, plus a one-time connection fee. The developer paid a portion of the fees, but later initiated suit, arguing the authority’s charges under the agreement for tapping fees were in error and therefore, the authority had violated the Municipality Authorities Act by over charging for sewer capacity. The authority argued, in part, that the developer’s action was not timely.
The Commonwealth Court determined the authority’s action was a violation of a statutory duty, not of a contract. As such, the action was governed by the two year statute of limitation for a tort, rather than the four year statute of limitation for a contract action. The court found the developer’s action to be untimely. For questions regarding sewer fees and timelines, please contact our office.