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Sanitary Authority Seeks Firm To Publicize Ongoing Work, Rate Increase

March 19, 2018 GMT

The Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority has created and filled a new public relations position and now is looking for a firm to publicize and educate the public about ongoing work to fulfill the requirements of an unfunded federal mandate that will lead to a rate increase.

The authority recently advertised a “request for qualifications” for marketing, promotions and video production services. The ad refers agencies to Donna Gillis, public relations and regulatory liaison at the authority.

Gillis said she began working for the authority a couple weeks ago. She previously worked for Pepperjam, a Wilkes-Barre internet marketing firm.

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Authority Executive Director Jim Tomaine said Gillis is being paid about $30 per hour in the full-time post and will coordinate a public education program about the authority’s role in helping municipalities satisfy a mandate from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA’s latest plan for restoring the Chesapeake Bay requires municipalities with stormwater that drains to the bay to reduce sediment pollution by 10 percent, phosphorus pollution by 5 percent and nitrogen pollution by 3 percent.

The authority proposed a regional approach and, last year, 32 communities signed on to have the authority design and oversee a regional project that could include restoring streams, separating storm and sanitary sewer lines, and constructing other stormwater management infrastructure such as catch basins.

The authority will charge a stormwater management fee to every sewer treatment customer in the 32 municipalities as well as households that use septic systems.

Authority officials are still working to determine the exact amount, but it’s not expected to be more than $4.50 per month, Gillis said.

Goals that authority officials expect the firm include:

• Creating a greater understanding of the authority’s mission, goals and objectives to the public.

•Increasing awareness of the authority and its newly formed stormwater approach.

•Showcasing WVSA funded projects, progress and successes.

•Highlighting and promoting the stormwater credit policy.

More specifically, the firm will be expected to:

•Develop and launch regional marketing and advertising campaigns through multiple media, including television, print and online.

•Determine scope of company’s rebranding potential; develop a consistent and cohesive strategy that encompasses logo, signage, ads, etc.

•Serve as strategic partner in the development and execution of public relations campaigns, including social media strategy.

Submissions are due to the authority by March 23.

Contact the writer:

smocarsky@citizensvoice.com

570-821-2110, @MocarskyCV

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