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Williamsport raises water rates

November 09, 2009

WILLIAMSPORT -- With little discussion and no public comment, Williamsport Town Council members Monday night unanimously passed a 5 percent water rate increase.

The issue was listed as old business on Monday night's agenda when council members gave their approval.

Williamsport, Funkstown and Smithsburg are wholesale water customers of the City of Hagerstown, which increased its wholesale rates to the towns as of Nov. 1 -- the first of five years' worth of rate increases, Hagerstown officials have said.

Hagerstown increased Williamsport's water rate by 3.5 percent on Nov. 1. In July next year, Williamsport's rates will go up again by 4.4 percent.

All three towns will have their water rates increased by 6.5 percent on July 1, 2011, on July 1, 2012, and on July 1, 2013, officials said.

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

Williamsport Mayor James G. McCleaf II said previously that the 5 percent water rate hike would help the town's water and sewer fund, which has been losing money.

The rate increase will help move the town toward breaking even and getting ahead on the future water rate increases coming from Hagerstown, McCleaf said.

-- Dave McMillion

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