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Water, sewer rates going up July 1

June 17, 1997

By STEVEN T. DENNIS

Staff Writer

It's official: Washington County water and sewer rates will go up July 1.

The average residential customer will pay $9.36 more a year for water and $16.52 more for sewer. The rate hikes, approved by the County Commissioners Tuesday, were the same as those proposed at a public hearing

Commissioners Vice President John S. Shank, who voted for the rates last month, voted against the rate hike.

He said after the meeting that he didn't oppose the increase. He said he voted no because Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook was not at the meeting and he felt the vote should be in front of the full board.

"Maybe that's not a good enough reason to vote no," he said.

Commissioners James R. Wade, Ronald L. Bowers and R. Lee Downey voted for the rate hikes.

Wade had voted no last month, saying the rates were not high enough to help address the county's $56 million water and sewer debt.

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Commissioner R. Lee Downey said before the vote that the increase was much less than the 14 percent projected last year, and said the increase in commercial rates of up to 13 percent was reasonable because those customers were spared last year.

Bob DeVinney, president of the Southwest Metropolitan Area Civic Association, said the vote was probably a win for county sewer customers.

"I like to look at this as a glass half full. It beats the heck out of the 14 percent that the ... study said last year."

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