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Boonsboro council discusses sewer charges

May 03, 1999|By BRUCE HAMILTON

BOONSBORO - The Town Council introduced a $1 million budget Monday that does not include an increased trash charges or funds for a third sheriff's deputy.

The council proposed lowering the minimum amount of gallons for which a flat sewer rate is charged. The change will raise $13,000 yearly in additional revenues, according to council member Kevin Chambers.

The council previously debated whether to retain its third deputy, whose salary is mostly paid by a federal grant that expires Sept. 30. If the proposed budget is adopted, the officer will return to work for the county after that date.

Chambers said monthly reports of police activity don't justify a need for three officers.

Other council members agreed. "I feel two would be sufficient for the community," said Richard Hawkins. "It will be easier to manage two cops versus three," said Chambers.

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Mayor Charles F. "Skip" Kauffman said Maryland State Police have pledged to patrol the town's area more often.

The council had also discussed increasing each household's quarterly sanitation rate from $6 to $9 to offset rising waste disposal costs. The propose budget keeps the existing rate.

Kauffman said Monday a general fund surplus would absorb any extra trash charges. He also recommended making bulk pickup seasonal, once in the fall and spring, instead of weekly.

Council member Ray Grove agreed. "I don't think it's something we want to do, I think it's something we have to do," he said.

The water budget is $246,000 and includes $9,500 for the inspection and cleaning of the town's reservoir. The $196,000 sewer budget is based on lowering the minimum amount for a flat rate.

Residents now pay about $31 for the first 21,000 gallons and a set fee for each additional 1,000 gallons, according to Chambers. The council proposes reducing that minimum amount to 16,000.

The change would take effect July 1 and show up on the Sept. 30 bill. The additional revenue will be used for system improvements.

Public hearings on the budget and the lowered sewer minimum will be held June 7 beginning at 6:30 p.m.

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