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Developer complains about high water fees

April 08, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Developer and Realtor Ronnie Martin complained to members of the Waynesboro Borough Council Wednesday that a fee required to install sprinkler systems in buildings "penalizes people who want to build safe buildings."

Martin, who listed his address as 66 State Hill Road, was referring to his Red Roof Storage facility, which he opened last year on State Hill Road. It has a sprinkler system.

He said he had to pay $2,000 to tie his sprinkler system into the borough's public water system, another $250 a month in standby fees, plus $3,400 for a water meter on the system.

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Martin said he didn't understand why the system needed a meter since the only time water would be used was if and when his buildings caught fire.

Council President Charles "Chip" McCammon told Martin that the council has no jurisdiction over such matters, and he needs to bring his complaint to the Waynesboro Borough Authority, the agency that builds and controls the borough's public water system.

"We have no authority over them. We only appoint their members," McCammon said.

Authority Chairman Jon Fleagle, contacted after the meeting, explained reasons for the fees charged for sprinkler systems.

While the $2,000 tap on fee is standard, the $250 a month standby fee is to guarantee that there is always water in the 6-inch line that feeds the sprinkler system, he said.

He said the authority requires separate meters for all fire service systems.

Fleagle said the borough authority was created by the council in the early 1950s.

Council member Jahnathan Cain said he would send a letter to the authority on Martin's behalf. "It makes no sense to charge someone who wants to build a safe building," he said.

Councilman Dick George asked that a letter be sent asking "for justification."

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