-ON THE AGENDA-
By Elizabeth Perry
Stowe Township will soon be accepting debit or credit payments and has plans in the works to provide online access to commissioners’ meetings.
The commissioners voted Sept. 13 to adopt Clover Flex from PNC Bank allowing residents to pay tax bills and expenses owed to the township via credit. A vote to install new audio-visual equipment in the council chambers was also approved.
Stowe Township Secretary Roberta Farls said the cost for the audio-visual upgrade would be $33,000.
Board President Robin Parilla said the current equipment was 16 years old, and an update was needed.
With the new capabilities, meetings would be recorded and available online at the township’s website.
Parilla said he hoped creating an option for people to watch council meetings online would convince them to be more active in their local government.
“I just know for a fact the percentile of the people that come out to vote is very sad. I think this is why we’re where we’re at today. They’re voting in the wrong way,” Parilla said.
The board members agreed to adopt the new Low Income Household Water Assistance Program or LIHWAP for residents who get their sewage service through the township. For those customers, their bills come through Pennsylvania Municipal Service Company.
Some West View Water customers may already be enrolled in the program according to Michele Garvey, office manager for West View Water Authority.
The water authority also has its own relief program called the Hardship Relief Program through Dollar Energy. Residents can find out more at westviewwater.org.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government created the LIHWAP program, which was adopted in 2021 as part of the economic recovery plan. The program assists low-income households with water and wastewater bills.
According to the program’s website, this initiative is similar to the LIHEAP program, which helps people with heating bills.
As of March 31 of this year, 42 states and 62 tribes have launched LIHWAP programs. In Pennsylvania, 12,934 households have benefited from the program by getting financial assistance to keep the water flowing.
The board members voted to transfer $321,352.95 of COVID-19 relief funds from the state into the township’s COVID-19 Relief Account.
Farls said the money was allotted to the township through COVID-19 relief, and was being transferred in case it was needed. The money has not been set aside for a specific project, Farls said.