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Bath residents could see tax increase

March 09, 2006|by TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. Bath Town Council member David Crosby, who chairs the town's finance committee, said the town's property valuation, which arrived from the Morgan County Assessor's office on Monday, increased to $36,760,000 from $29,989,000, a jump of 20 percent over last year.

Crosby said he has been working on the town budget, which is due to the state by March 28, and he is "leaning toward" raising the property tax rate to 12 percent, the maximum allowed by the state.

If the tax is raised to more than 3 percent, a public hearing is required. The town has not raised the tax to more than 3 percent since 1994, he said.

Crosby said property owners would be paying on average about $12 more a year in taxes.

The council members will vote on the tax rate for fiscal year 2006-07 tax at the Bath Town Council meeting today, Councilwoman Garnet Marsh said. Notification of a public hearing will be made then, she said.

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New truck for water department



BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. The Bath Town Council unanimously approved spending about $28,000 to replace a Berkeley Springs Water Works (BSWW) vehicle that stopped working last week.

A GMC one-ton utility truck will be purchased from the state, said Mayor Susan Webster at Monday night's special meeting.

With more than $16,200 in the water department's "sinking fund" account, which can be used for emergency equipment replacement, she said, and more than $5,200 in the water department's construction account, more than $21,000 is available for the truck down payment.

Kevin Hancock, superintendent of the Water Works, said the construction account was part of the plant filtration system that was installed a few years ago.

Councilwoman Garnet Marsh asked Hancock to find out if there were any stipulations regarding the construction fund's use.

Webster said the plant construction "did include equipment."

The Town of Bath is the local government within Berkeley Springs.

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