Funkstown briefs

July 13, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

Councilman fielding rate questions

FUNKSTOWN - Funkstown Town Councilman Kim Ramer said that during the past few weeks he has been contacted by some residents who questioned the town's decision to raise sewer rates.

Ramer, speaking at Monday's Funkstown Town Council meeting, said he explained the situation to the residents.

"I calmed them down and they accepted it," he said.

At its June 28 meeting, the council adopted its fiscal 2005 budget, which includes the rate increase. The fiscal year begins July 1.

At that meeting, Town Clerk Brenda Haynes said sewer charges have been 75 percent of the water charges, but will increase to 160 percent of the water charges.

The change is effective this month, she said.

Haynes said a quarterly utility bill - based on the use of 11,000 gallons of water - previously included $38.74 in sewer charges. With the increase, the same amount of water usage now will cost residents $100.70 in sewer charges, she said.


The rate increase is based on the assumption that the town will receive an $800,000 Community Development Block Grant for which it has applied, she said.

Haynes said the increase is the result of a state-mandated upgrade of the town's wastewater treatment plant.

The cost of construction work to upgrade the treatment plant is estimated at about $2.4 million, Haynes has said. The town is getting $500,000 in grant money from the Maryland Department of the Environment to help pay for the work.

Attorney will be asked to speak

FUNKSTOWN - Funkstown Town Attorney Robert E. Kuczynski will be asked to attend the next Funkstown Town Council meeting to talk about problems with properties, Mayor Robert Kline said Monday.

During Monday's meeting, Assistant Mayor Paul Crampton asked if the town could find a way to address problems caused by abandoned property and by property owners who let their weeds grow too high.

Council members asked Kline if he would ask the town attorney to research the issue and present his findings at next month's meeting. Kline said he would do so.

Resident wants politicians to meet

FUNKSTOWN - A Funkstown resident said local representatives to the Maryland General Assembly should meet with town residents and the Town Council and mayor to see how they are being affected by a state mandate.

The Funkstown Town Council on June 28 adopted its annual budget, which included increased sewer rates.

The rate increase was made necessary because of a state-mandated upgrade of the town's wastewater treatment plant, Town Clerk Brenda Haynes has said.

"It is time to get the local big-shot politicians in here," Lynden Ford Moser said during Monday's meeting. "Let's get the local big boys here."

Meeting is short

FUNKSTOWN - The Funkstown Town Council meeting Monday lasted for about 30 minutes, but it was almost even shorter.

The agenda for the meeting listed only three items:

  • Invocation and pledge of allegiance.

  • Review and approval of minutes.

  • Review and approval of bills.

The meeting started at 7:03 p.m. and the council was finished with the first two items by 7:05 p.m.

Comments from one citizen and other council members resulted in the meeting lasting until about 7:30 p.m.

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