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County water, sewer hikes approved

April 04, 2007|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

HAGERSTOWN - Water and sewer rates, and the sewer hookup fee in Washington County will officially increase in the coming fiscal year.

The Washington County Commissioners unanimously voted Tuesday to accept the proposed rate and fee increases.

Julie Pippel, acting director of the Washington County Department of Water Quality, presented the projected quarterly rate increases for both residential and commercial customers to the board during a public hearing Tuesday.

The board did not receive any public comment on the proposed increase during the hearing.

Under the rate increase, full-service water and sewer customers will see the base rate increase 3 percent, or about $2.80 for sewer, and 4 percent, or about $2.40, for water.

Additional volume will increase 14 cents for every 1,000 gallons of sewer and 30 cents for every 1,000 gallons of water used.

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Using those figures, Pippel calculated the average residential customer using 12,000 gallons of water per quarter will see a total quarterly bill increase of $4.20.

The cost for connecting to the county's sewer system will increase from $3,500 to $5,900 for the coming fiscal year, which begins July 1.

The county's water fund budget proposal for fiscal year 2008 reflects an overall reduction of $412,070 from the current budget of $1.7 million.

The budget also reflects a reduction in money the county transferred to the fund from its general fund.

Pippel said previously that the goal is to have the fund self-supporting by 2012 and to eliminate general fund contributions altogether.

The sewer fund budget proposal reflects a 7.3 percent increase from the current budget, from $9.9 million to $10.7 million.

Most of the increase is to cover the costs of wages and benefits, Pippel said.

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