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Greencastle residents' sewer bills to increase

February 06, 2012|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — Greencastle residents will see a rate increase in their sewer bill next month to fund upgrades to the borough’s sewer plant.

At Monday night’s meeting, the Greencastle Borough Council voted 7-0 to approve increasing sewer rates to $6 per 1,000 gallons, with a $54 per-quarter minimum.

The new rates are retroactive to Jan. 1.

The current rate is $5 per 1,000 gallons and a minimum quarterly charge of $45, according to borough officials.

The last sewer rate increase was in 2004, officials said.

Borough Manager Ken Womack said the rate increase would help offset the cost of the upgrades to the borough’s wastewater treatment plant.

The upgrades are necessary to meet the new mandates requiring wastewater treatment plants to reduce the output of nitrogen, phosphorus and other chemicals so pollutants don't reach the Chesapeake Bay.

The borough’s engineering firm, Gannett Fleming of Camp Hill, Pa., estimated the cost of upgrades to be $850,000, Womack said.

But, the bids came in more than $250,000 higher than expected, raising the cost to $1 million.

“We have to get moving (with the upgrades),” Womack told the council. “We have to get this done by November.”

Womack said there is money in reserve to cover the increased cost of the upgrades.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the council passed an ordinance to change the zoning at 10 locations in the borough from residential to commercial.

That is just an extension of the current zoning in that area, said Borough Solicitor Sam Wiser.

By a vote of 7-0, the council approved rezoning 330 W. Baltimore St. and 344 W. Baltimore St. from general residential to highway commercial.

The council also approved rezoning the following from general residential to community commercial: 144 S. Jefferson St., 42 W. Franklin St., 40 W. Franklin Street, a Franklin Street property with no number assigned, 36 W. Franklin St., a South Jefferson Street property with no number assigned, 118 S. Jefferson St. and 128 S. Jefferson St.

Womack said the zoning changes will give the borough more flexibility to find tenants to use the properties.

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