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Hagerstown City Council votes against water rate hike

May 21, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- A water rate increase in the City of Hagerstown is all but dead after the City Council on Tuesday voted 3-1 against introducing an ordinance that would have raised water rates 3.5 percent.

Councilman Lewis C. Metzner, who with Councilwomen Penny M. Nigh and Alesia Parson-McBean voted against introducing the ordinance, said after the meeting that he didn't think a water rate increase would happen in fiscal year 2008-09.

"I think it's dead," Metzner said. "I wouldn't have supported it."

Councilman Martin Brubaker cast the only vote to introduce the ordinance. Absent from the meeting was Councilwoman Kelly S. Cromer, who is on vacation.

Had the ordinance been introduced Tuesday and passed later this month as part of the budget for fiscal year 2008-09, the 3.5-percent increase would have taken effect July 1, according to city documents.

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The ordinance would have needed three votes for introduction.

The council did, however, vote 4-0 to introduce an ordinance that would increase sewer rates.

If the council approves the ordinance next Tuesday, rates would increase by about 6 percent for customers who live inside the city and 7.3 percent for customers who live outside the city, according to city documents. The rate increase would become effective July 1.

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