Like many other customers of the Washington County sewer system, Smithsburg and Williamsport are bracing for rate hikes, that, come July, could boost the average customer's bill by $150 a year. Before these rate hikes take effect, however, it's time for the county commissioners to update the citizens on where the issue stands, in a public meeting or in writing.
The following questions need to be answered:
- Where does the $54 million debt stand now? How will upgrades and repair needed at the industrial pre-treatment plant and the Nicodemus sewage-treatment facility affect the debt?
- Nearly everyone agrees that to deal with excess capacity at the Conococheague sewer plant, more industries must be persuaded to locate here and hook onto that system. How would such hook-ups affect the need for rate hikes in the long term? And to market that excess capacity to industry, is the county close to hiring someone to fill the position of economic development director, a post vacant since October of 1995?