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Municipalities get discount on water-rate increases

November 23, 2005|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

Three Washington County towns are getting a temporary break on water-rate increases.

The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday agreed to temporarily offer Smithsburg, Funkstown and Williamsport - the three municipalities that buy water from the city - a 16 percent discount on rate increases.

The towns will get the discount for up to 90 days starting Dec. 1, when the new rates take effect.

The City Council approved a new rate structure last month for residential and commercial customers, but didn't include municipal rates for the three towns.

After the discount period, Smithsburg's water customers would pay 12.6 percent more than they do now if the town passed along the full increase.

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The town, however, hopes to spread the increase out over a few years by using its surplus fund, Mayor Mildred "Mickey" Myers has said.

Funkstown's customers will pay about 7 percent more. The Funkstown Town Council already has voted to pass the full increase on to its customers.

The increase for Williamsport's customers would be about 5 percent.

Williamsport is considering doing passing along the full increase. A public hearing is scheduled for next month.

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