Smithsburg to delay water rate increases

October 27, 2009|By DAVE McMILLION

SMITHSBURG -- Smithsburg Town Council members decided Tuesday night to hold off on any water rate increases for residents this year, even though the town will see a 3 percent increase in the cost for the water it gets from the City of Hagerstown.

The cost increase to the town will go into effect Sunday.

The City of Hagerstown has laid out a series of water rate increases to Smithsburg for fiscal years 2011 through 2014, but town council members decided to assess costs associated with water service each year rather than through planned increases, Town Council member Donnie Souders Jr. said.

The council decided on the plan through consensus during a work session Tuesday at town hall. Council members are expected to take formal action on the plan during a council meeting next Tuesday.

Town officials said they believe it is important to assess each year in regards to water costs because the council needs to look out for Smithsburg residents in the tough economy.


"We're not in it to make money. We're in it to pay the bills and that's it," Mayor Mildred "Mickey" Myers said.

The City of Hagerstown is planning a 3.9 percent water rate increase to the town of Smithsburg in fiscal year 2011 and 6.5 percent increases each year for fiscal years 2012 through 2014.

Smithsburg, Funkstown and Williamsport are wholesale water customers of the City of Hagerstown, which is planning to increase its wholesale rates to the towns over five years.

The rate increases are to cover general inflation, operating costs and several water system projects, Hagerstown officials said.

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