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Water, sewer rate hikes planned in Clear Spring

April 15, 2003|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

CLEAR SPRING - Hefty rate hikes for both water and sewer that have been contemplated for nearly two years were introduced at Monday night's Clear Spring Town Council meeting.

Beginning with the bills that customers will receive in October, in-town water customers will pay $46.25 per quarter, while out-of-town customers will pay $69.49 per quarter.

The old water rates, which have remained steady since 1993, were $18 for in-town customers and $27 for out-of-town customers.

The sewer rate, which has been $85 per quarter for all customers, will increase to $102 per quarter for the first 12,000 gallons of water used. Beyond the 12,000-gallon limit, the rate will be $3.45 per 1,000 gallons.

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"This is just so we can pay the bills," Mayor Paul Hose Jr. said.

A public hearing will be held one half hour before the May 12 town meeting to give people a chance to voice concerns about the increases. The hearing will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall.

The council is to formally approve the rate hikes at that meeting following the hearing.

Pat Kline of Kline and Co., certified public accountants, has for two years been recommending both the water and sewer rate increases, but town officials had tried to hold the line.

The need to finance a state-mandated water filtration system costing nearly $1 million was the driving force for increasing the rates.

Hose said Monday night that site preparation work for the new system will start in April at the site of the town's reservoir west of the town limits.

"I understand that the bid documents are near completion," Hose said.

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