Horsham Township is a Home Rule Charter Municipality, located in Montgomery County on the Bucks County border. The Township of Horsham covers 17.3 square miles in the southeastern portion of Montgomery County. The Township is bounded by Lower Gwynedd and Upper Dublin Townships on the west, by Upper Moreland Township and the Borough of Hatboro on the south, by Montgomery Township on the north, and by Warminster and Warrington Townships in Bucks County on the east. The 1998 population figure according to the Montgomery County Planning Commission was 23,197. Population figures from the 2000 and 2010 census respectively were 24,232 and 26,147. The most recent statistics according to census.gov as of July 1, 2017 estimate the population at 26,559. Horsham Water & Sewer Authority (HWSA) serves approximately 86% of the total population, or approximately 22,917 people within the Township of Horsham as well as a limited number of connections outside of the Township. The Planning Commission has forecasted a population of 30,890 by the year 2025.
HWSA is a body corporate and politic originally organized in 1963 as the Township of Horsham Sewer Authority (HSA) by the Township of Horsham, Montgomery County, PA under the Municipal Authorities Act of 1945, approved May 2, 1945, P.L. 382 as amended. The former Horsham Water Authority (HWA) was organized in 1954 to provide water service to the Township.
In 1997, the Township, in conjunction with the two Authorities determined that management and operating efficiencies would result from a single entity operating both the water and sewer systems with commingled revenues under a single trust indenture, with the surviving entity being the HSA. By Ordinance dated October 7, 1997, Horsham Township took the necessary authorizing action to consolidate the water and sewer service functions and amend the HSA Articles of Incorporation and to reconstitute and rename HSA as the Horsham Water & Sewer Authority (HWSA). On November 24, 1998, HWSA then purchased all assets of the HWA and assumed all of its liabilities.
The following actions effectuated the combining of the two Authorities: 9/8/97 – By Resolution Amend Articles of Incorporation as follows:
- Reconstitute and rename the Township of Horsham Sewer Authority to the Horsham Water & Sewer Authority with a 50 year term of existence Establish and appoint a seven member Board
- Establish the purpose of the Authority
- Direct Authority to accordingly prepare amended Articles of Incorporation and submit to Horsham Township Council for approval
- File amended Articles of Incorporation 11/6/97 – Articles of Incorporation signed by HWSA
- 11/17/97 – By Resolution defeasance of HSA outstanding debt authorized 11/19/97 – Articles of Incorporation filed with Department of State
- 8/5/98 – Agreement for HWA to sell and HWSA to purchase all HWA assets 11/24/98 – Settlement on purchase of assets
- 7/24/00 – Resolution Amending HWSA by-laws
The reconstituted and renamed HWSA has the power to construct, finance, operate and maintain water and sewer systems.
The governing body of HWSA is a Board consisting of seven members appointed by the Horsham Township Council. The terms of the members of the Board are five years each. The terms of the members are staggered so that no more than two members of the Board are to be appointed in any year. Members of the Board may be reappointed and there is no limit on the number of terms a Board Member may serve. The Board is authorized to exercise any and all powers conferred by the Act necessary for the acquisition, construction, improvement, extension, maintenance and operation of the water and sewer systems.
The Authority currently serves almost 8,500 water and/or sewer connections, of which approximately 7,400 are residential units.
HWSA’s current debt consists of Aa2 rated 2010 Bond Series including federally subsidized Build America Bonds and two Tax Exempt Series of Bonds, originally totaling $24.7 million. Tax Exempt Series A refunded a prior 2004 Bond Issue. The Tax Exempt Series B bonds, together with the Series C Build America Bonds (BAB) funded capital projects, primarily the expansion of the Park Creek Sewage Treatment Plant (discussed below). The Tax Exempt Series A & B Bonds were paid off in 2017. As of 12/31/19, remaining outstanding principal debt on the BABs is $15.8 million. Annual debt service, including interest, is $1.75 million. Under the 2010 Trust Indenture, the bonds are secured by a pledge of water and sewer revenues.
It is anticipated that the Authority will seek additional financing for capital projects during 2020.