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Hagerstown hosts public hearing today on water, sewer rates

Increases to both would cost customers from $4.04 to $8.54 a quarter

Increases to both would cost customers from $4.04 to $8.54 a quarter

May 06, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- The City of Hagerstown will hold a public hearing tonight at City Hall to discuss two proposals - one to increase the sewer rate and the other to increase both water and sewer rates.

A proposed increase to water and sewer - if passed by the Hagerstown City Council - would cost city customers using an average 13,000 gallons of water an additional $4.04 per quarter, Hagerstown Utilities Director Michael Spiker wrote in a memo. The quarterly bills for customers using an average 13,000 gallons who live outside the city would increase by $8.54.

Spiker said there are several reasons for the proposed rate increases.

"In order to achieve the financial operational stability of the Water and Wastewater funds, rate increases are required to pay for the proposed increases in budgeted fixed charges, debt service, and regulatory mandated infrastructure upgrades," Spiker said. "The (Hagerstown) Utilities Department, as are our rate payers, is not immune to increases in gasoline, natural gas, and electricity. Additionally, our treatment processes have experienced an increase in chemical costs, both in base manufacture and transport."

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Customers who live in the joint service area would be affected as well. The proposed quarterly increase for those customers would be $7.68, the memorandum said.

Hagerstown Finance Director Alfred Martin said another scenario at the public hearing would involve increasing the sewer rates only.

If that happened, city customers would pay an additional $3.28 per quarter, and customers who live outside the city would pay $7, Martin said. The increase for joint customers would be $6.14.

Any rate increases approved by the council would take effect July 1, Spiker said.

If you go



What: Public hearing for water and sewer rate increases

When: Today, 7 p.m.

Where: Hagerstown City Hall, 1 E. Franklin St.

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