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Smithsburg Town Council votes to raise water hookup fee

April 04, 2002|BY ANDREA ROWLAND

SMITHSBURG - The price of a water hookup here went up 40 percent Tuesday night.

The Smithsburg Town Council unanimously voted to raise the rate from $2,500 per unit to $3,500 per unit. Anyone who applied for a water hookup after Tuesday must pay the fee.

Mayor Tommy Bowers said the money will be set aside to pay for additional water capacity from the City of Hagerstown.

The town currently can buy up to 240,000 gallons of water a day from the city.

"We're going to be approaching that quicker than we had hoped," especially with new development, Bowers said.

To increase the maximum possible purchase from the city, the town would have to pay a one-time fee of almost $5 per gallon.

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The extra $1,000 for the hookup fee would go into a fund earmarked for paying the one-time expense.

The council also voted to raise the cost of applying to build a pool.

A building permit, which costs at least $50, is necessary to build a pool. The council added $100 to that cost. That money will be put into the same water capacity fund as the hookup fees.

Councilman Jerome Martin said that even at $3,500, the water hookup fee is less than it is in other municipalities.

Town officials said they may be criticized over the extra fees.

"We're going to get cussed and everything else," Bowers said. "We've been through this before. I'm pretty good at slamming phones. Call me back when you take an Alka-Seltzer."

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