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Hagerstown OKs sewer rate increase

August 26, 1998|By JULIE E. GREENE

Hagerstown sewer customers will see their average quarterly bills rise by nearly $2 starting in October.

The council voted 4-0on Tuesday night to raise the sewer rate by 5.5 percent.

The rate increase will help pay for multimillion dollar upgrades to the city's sewer plant.

City officials anticipate small water and sewer rate increases spread over several years rather than one large increase to help pay for upgrades to city water and sewer plants.

The council on July 28 approved a 5 percent water rate increase that also will take effect with October's bills.

The council voted to introduce a law for the sewer hike on July 28. The sewer rate hike needed two votes because it required changing a law. The sewer rate, unlike water rates, is part of the city code, said City Clerk Gann Breichner.

The average city customer inside the city limits who uses 13,000 gallons every three months pays $35.88 a quarter for sewer and $15.08 a quarter for water.

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When the new rates go into effect, those quarterly rates would go up by $1.95 for sewer and 78 cents for water.

Rates for city water and sewer customers outside the city limits are different.

Sewer rate increases for city customers outside city limits are as follows:

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> Average city sewer customers living outside the city will see their quarterly bills increase from $59.15 to $62.40.

Those customers include residents in areas mostly east and west of the city, such as Brightwood Acres, Brightwood Acres East, Potomac Manor, areas near Hagerstown Junior College, Dual Highway and Greenberry Hills and Washington County Business Park.

Wastewater for those customers is treated by the city, which also owns the sewer lines.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> Average sewer customers served jointly by the city and county will see their quarterly bills rise from $50.96 to $53.82.

Those customers include residents who live in Maugansville, Fountain Head, Orchard Hills, Pangborn east of Hagerstown and the area around the Sharpsburg Pike/Interstate 70 interchange.

Wastewater for those customers is treated by the city, although Washington County owns and maintains the sewer collection system in those areas.

Hagerstown residents' water and sewer bills will continue to include a $12.50 quarterly charge. That charge is the landfill dumping fee and a recycling charge.

The city's water and sewer rates last were raised in January 1997, when they went up by 5 percent.

City Council members William M. Breichner, Susan Saum-Wicklein, J. Wallace McClure and Alfred W. Boyer approved the sewer rate increase.

Councilman Lewis C. Metzner was absent.

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