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Water, sewer rate increases approved for Washington County

April 22, 2008

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved water and sewer rate increases after a public hearing on the matter that drew no comments.

Water bills will increase 3.7 percent and sewer bills will rise by 3.6 percent for average residential customers in the coming fiscal year under the proposal, which will have to be approved as part of the county's fiscal 2009 budget before taking effect July 1.

The rate hike is part of a long-range plan to pay off the county's water and sewer debt, which stands at about $29 million, according to capital budget documents.

Sewer rates for wholesale customers will increase by 7 percent.

With the increase, the average residential customer who uses 12,000 gallons of water per quarter will pay $4.50 more per quarter in fiscal year 2009.

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That means the quarterly water bill for the average residential customer will rise from $122.80 to $127.30.

The average customer's sewer bills will increase by $4.06 per quarter, from $111.34 to $115.40.

In fiscal year 2008, water rates increased by 3.5 percent and sewer rates rose 3.4 percent for average residential customers.

The county commissioners will hold a public hearing May 13 on the fiscal 2009 budget.

-- Joshua Bowman

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