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Funkstown considers rate increases

June 09, 2009|By MARLO BARNHART

FUNKSTOWN -- The Mayor and Council got to tiptoe through the 2010 fiscal year working copy budget Monday night, raising questions about the possible need to increase fees for water, sewer and trash collection in the coming months.

Still given the state of the economy as a whole, Vice Mayor Paul Crampton Jr. said the town budget looks "really good" ... considering.

The quarterly cost of trash pickup is currently $30, according to Town Clerk Brenda Haynes. "That's just breaking even for the town," she said.

Two bids are due by June 12 for trash pickup service for July 1, 2009, through June 30, 2010. Depending on how those bids come in, Haynes said the rate could be raised to $34 a quarter.

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In the new budget, Haynes figured in a 5 percent increase in the water rates to bring them in line with expenses.

For intown residents, the quarterly increase for customers using minimum water would be paying an extra $1.78; out of town users would be paying a comparable $2.38 more a quarter.

As to the sewer rate, a 5 percent increase there would translate into a quarterly increase for intown users of $3.25; out of town customers would see a $4.35 increase, Haynes said.

"We need the increase in the sewer rate more than the others," Haynes said.

Crampton noted that while the town is still playing catch-up with the rates, "we're not bleeding," he said.

The suggestion was made that increasing water and sewer rates regularly at a modest amount works better than keeping rates the same for a number of years and then increasing them large amounts all at once.

Another section of interest in the new budget lays out an expenditure of $12,775 for the curbing work needed to make the last blocks of Chestnut and Poplar streets one way.

Crampton said that work could be under way as soon as August.

A work session to further discuss the details is set for Monday, June 15, at Town Hall. The budget will be approved at another special meeting Monday, June 29.

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