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Smithsburg to pass water rate increase on to customers

Customers will first see the increases on their Oct. 1 billing

June 08, 2011|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com

Customers of the Smithsburg water system will be facing a 6.5 percent increase in their quarterly utility bills, the Smithsburg Town Council decided Tuesday night.

The city of Hagerstown, which provides water to Smithsburg, increased its rates to the town by 6.5 percent, Smithsburg Town Manager Betsy Martin said.

The council passed that increase onto town water customers, Martin said.

For in-town customers, their quarterly water and sewer bill will increase from $92.42 to $98.44 for 6,000 gallons of water use, Martin said.

Rates will go from $2.82 to $3 for each additional 1,000 gallons used over 6,000 gallons, according to Martin.

For out-of-town customers, their quarterly water and sewer bill will increase from $132.54 to $141.15 for 6,000 of water used, Martin said.

Rates will go from $2.94 to $3.13 for each additional 1,000 gallons used over 6,000, she said.

Customers will first see the increases on their Oct. 1 billing, she said.

Council members Shirley Aurand, Tyler Lushbaugh, Troy Jernigan and Donnie Souders also voted Tuesday night to approve the town's general fund budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year, as well as the water and sewer budgets.

Councilman Jerome Martin was absent.

The water and sewer budgets are not required to be balanced, and both are projected to have deficits this year, Martin said.

The budgets are running deficits because of increased costs of running the water and sewer systems and no new hookups for service, Martin said.

The water budget is expected to have a deficit of $24,100 in the coming fiscal year, and the sewer budget is expected to have one of $55,500, Martin said.

The general fund budget approved Tuesday totaled $1.153 million, about $40,000 higher than the current year's spending plan, Martin said.

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