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Town raises water, sewer rates

Ingrid Mezo
The Gazette

(6/22) Emmitsburg town officials voted 3-1 to increase the town's water and sewer rates in fiscal 2006 by $2.50 per quarter for consumption of up to 100,000 gallons.

"We're millions of dollars in debt," Mayor James Hoover said at the town meeting Monday, pointing out that the town has spent a lot of money on its water and sewer problems in past years.

Town Commissioner Art Elder voted against the increase.

"Last year we rebuilt a water tank, we got new trucks, and we had state employees come in," Elder said. "I'm not totally in favor of a water increase this time."

A household that consumes 12,000 gallons of water every quarter, an average figure, according to statistics presented in the town's official meeting packet, would spend $5 more than the $118.80 it spent for water and sewer costs each quarter of last year.

It has been several years since water and sewer rates went up in Emmitsburg, according to Town Clerk Donna Despres.

"The last change was in Fiscal 2002," Despres said. "That's when we introduced the ... tiers that just sort of affected the heavy industrial users."

A U.S. Senate measure passed June 13 will help defray some of the town's water and sewer debt, according to a press release sent to the Gazette by Emmitsburg Commissioner Bill O'Neil.

The Senate Interior Appropriations Committee's granted the Town of Emmitsburg $150,000.

The money is part of a total $1.65 million in federal funding to be used for upgrading the State of Maryland's western water and sewer systems. O'Neil initiated the measure, according to the press release.
 

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