Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) executive director Michael Kenney resigned Friday ahead of a report expected to detail his personal ties to a vendor providing line insurance to PWSA customers. Kenney did not give a reason for his resignation that took effect immediately. The PWSA this year began charging customers $5 dollars a month for water and sewer line insurance. The coverage is provided by Utility Line Security of Forest Hills. Kenney once worked with the founder of Utility Line and some stakeholders in Utility Line are also associated with Utilishield, where Kenney once held an ownership interest. The monthly charge is automatically added to bills unless customers "opt out." That arrangement has received widespread criticism and prompted a lawsuit.
Stephen Simcic, a the PWSA's director of finance, and Tom Palmosina, director of water operations, were appointed by the board as co-interim directors. Simcic told DUQ that the opt out line insurance will probably not change, at least for now.....
"At this particular time, I don't expect that to happen. But I would have to tell you, there are still some ongoing discussions taking place, and until I hear more on that, I would have to hold off on final comment."
Meantime, bills will be going up for PWSA customers. The board approved a 7.7% increase in the water and sewage rate and a 2% boost in the Distribution Infrastructure Service Charge, a maintenance fee. Simcic says the rate increases are due mainly to higher overall costs.
The average residential customer will be paying $4.15 more per month.