This article can be found published on the Daily Local News‘ website.
EAST GOSHEN — Two years ago, the East Goshen Township Board of Supervisors authorized the township solicitor to serve writs ofscire facias against residents who were delinquent paying their sewer and refuse tax.
Now that the first quarter invoice has gone out for sewer and refuse near the end of January, the township has on its hands three residents who are past due and the solicitor has been unable to serve the writs to these people, who collectively owe nearly $12,500.
The board, under the Municipal Claim and Tax Lien Law and the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure, unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday night allowing the solicitor to petition the Chester County Court of Common Pleas to pursue alternative methods.
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“Those (methods) include posting notice on the most prominent part of the building, as well as publishing a notice in the Daily Local News and things of that nature,” said Jon Altshul, the township’s Chief Financial Officer and treasurer. “In order for our solicitor to take those steps, in order to serve these writs, she would need to be authorized by the board to proceed with those alternate service methods.”
Altshul informed the board that the solicitor said there was evidence that the residents have been home.
The resolution allows the solicitor to continue trying to serve the writs, but also will allow her to make inquiries with the postal authorities, neighbors, relatives, friends and coworkers and to examine local telephone directories, voter registration records, local tax records and motor vehicle records.
“So far we have served 10 to 15 of these writs, and they have been very effective,” Altshul said. “Mortgage companies have stepped up and said, ‘Pay this off.’ We’ve had a number of high four-figure, low five-figure payments the last six months and are probably directly related to that. Hopefully that next step isn’t one that we have to take.”
Though the supervisors are hoping that next step doesn’t have to be taken, they are prepared to follow through, if need be.
The resolution may have come about due to the three delinquent residents, it can be used in the future for any resident who owes $2,000 or more in sewer and refuse.
Senya Isayeff, chairman of the board, believed it was the duty of the supervisors to make sure these residents pay what is owed and that they should be pulling the same weight as the other residents of the township.
“I think we have an obligation to our fellow residents to do just that if somebody isn’t paying their bill and they’re hiding behind a closed door while the TV is on, pretending that they aren’t home,” he said. “We have no recourse but to take the next step and that is to post a sign out front and do any of the other three items.”