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Sewer rate increase approved in Chambersburg

December 11, 2002|by STACEY DANZUSO

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Borough residents will see their sewer rates go up another 10 percent this year, which translates to about $1.40 per month more for residential customers.

Borough Council members approved the rate change Tuesday night, following through with a pledge last year to space out increases in service fees.

Last year, the council unanimously approved a 10 percent increase in sewer fees rather than a proposed 20 percent jump with the understanding it would take smaller increases for three years to make up the funds.

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Borough Manager Eric Oyer said sewer use and profits were down this year due to water conservation during the ongoing drought, so it is likely the borough will have to impose a third 10 percent increase in 2004.

"We'll see how things go next year," he said.

Oyer said the average residential customer using 6,700 gallons of water per month can expect to see monthly bills of $15.69 per month, up from $14.25 per month this year.

Despite the proposed increases, Oyer said the borough sewer rates are still a good deal.

"There is no other community in the area that has sewer bills less than $20 a month, with the exception of the Borough of Waynesboro. We still feel good about the rate," he said.

Council members approved the rate increase unanimously, after Councilman Allen Frantz asked borough staff to notify residents before the increase becomes effective Jan. 1.

The borough had historically saw-toothed its utility increases, relying on cash balances for as long as possible and then approving a large rate increase.

However, last year council members began to question the policy and particularly its impact on major commercial businesses in the borough.

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