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Water rates rise 61 percent

February 04, 1998

By RICHARD F. BELISLE

Staff Writer, Waynesboro

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - About 170 customers of Lincoln Utilities, a small private water company serving two subdivisions in Southern Franklin County near State Line, Pa., saw their water rates increase last month, a spokeswoman for the utility said.

Lincoln Utilities, based in Greencastle, asked the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission for permission to raise its rates by 83 percent, said Janet Miller, a Harrisburg, Pa., attorney who represents the company. The PUC allowed a rate hike closer to 61 percent, Miller said.

The new rates, which took effect Jan. 28, cost Lincoln Utilities customers $4.94 per 1,000 gallons used. The old rate was $3 per 1,000 gallons, Miller said.

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The new rates will be added to a user's regular customer service charge of $34.31 that is paid quarterly to cover the utility's administration, billing and meter-reading costs, Miller said.

Under the old rate, an average residential user paid about $230 a year for water. The new rates raise that to about $370.

Miller said the rate hike is the first approved for Lincoln Utilities since 1989. She said the money is needed to pay for increasing operating costs.

Lincoln Utilities customers live in the Sherwood Manor and Cedarbrook subdivision off Hykes Road, she said.

Most Greencastle Borough water customers plus many who live in Antrim Township near the borough are served by the public Greencastle Area Franklin County Water Authority. The rest of the township's residents get their water from private wells, cisterns or springs, said Antrim Township Administrator Ben Thomas.

It serves nearly 4,000 customers, Thomas said.

Ken Myers, borough manager of Greencastle, said customers served by that utility pay $6 per 1,000 gallons up to 30,000 gallons, then $5.25 per 1,000 gallons above that. An average homeowner's bill runs about $90 per quarter, Myers said.

A few in the township's north end are served by the Guilford Water Authority.

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