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Antrim Township votes to increase water rates

November 24, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Two-hundred homeowners and the Antrim Township Municipal Authority are facing rising fuel costs and insurance premiums on vehicles and property ... with one exception.

The authority is not facing a 10-percent-a-year hike in its water bill; the homeowners are.

The authority said it needs the rate increase to pay its rising costs and it's passing them on to its 200 customers.

"Everybody's costs are going up," said Teresa Schnoor, an Antrim Township administrator. A decision was made to levy the increases incrementally over the next three years through 2006 rather than have a large increase all at once, she said.

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The authority's current rates are $34.31 per quarter for the first 1,000 gallons plus $4.94 for each additional 1,000 gallons. The 10 percent increase will raise it to $37.74 per quarter per 1,000 gallons plus $5.43 for each additional 1,000 gallons.

The five-member authority was created in 1979. In March 2003, the Antrim Township Supervisors decided to buy Lincoln Utilities, a private water system that served about 200 customers in developments in southern Antrim Township near State Line, Pa., Schnoor said.

It's still the township's only public water system. Its two wells can produce 800,000 gallons per day. The current needs are about 85,000 gallons per day, Schnoor said.

The Greencastle Area, Franklin County, Water Authority, the public water utility that supplies the Borough of Greencastle, also supplies many Antrim Township residents with water.

Schnoor said she expects the number of water customers to increase as the township population increases, but any new service will have to be able to tie into the existing system. The supervisors don't want a patchwork of small systems around the township, she said.

Antrim Township has a population of 12,700, Schnoor said and is one of the fastest-growing sections of Franklin County.

The township's public sewer department serves about 2,600 customers through a network of 88 miles of underground lines, Schnoor said.

The system has 24 pumping stations to carry the sewage over the township's hills and valleys to the treatment plant on Worleytown Road, she said.

The supervisors hired a Harrisburg, Pa., consultant to draft a new comprehensive plan that will show where new public water and sewer service will be needed.

A preliminary report on the consultant's study should be ready by February, Schnoor said.

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