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Thurmont officials raise water rates

Ed Waters Jr.
Frederick News Post

(8/15)  Town residents will see an increase in their water rates in the next quarterly bill.

The mayor and town commissioners voted Tuesday night to keep the rate of $60 per residential unit intact, but increase "tier" usage costs by 50 cents per tier. There are five tier levels, each one based on larger usage of water for the quarter.

One obstacle was finding a fair cost for all residents, including those who live in apartment buildings that may have only one meter for all units. In that case, $60 per unit is charged and the landlord will have to decide on dividing up the usage costs per apartment.

The town had to increase costs to meet a $35,000 shortfall for the water service budget.

"Unlike the state and federal government, Thurmont will not run in the red," said Town Commissioner Bill Buehrer.

The vote was unanimous, although Town Commissioner Wayne Hooper was absent.

Police tip line

The Thurmont Police Department has established a "tip line" where callers can report a crime anonymously or give their name if they choose. The line is 301-271-0905, ext. 104. Information on the crime must be specific and there is a reward program of up to $1,000 depending on the arrest and conviction of someone involved in a crime.

Carol Robertson was reappointed to the Ethics Commission.

Chief Administrative Officer Bill Blakeslee said the American Chestnut Foundation is interested in planting a chestnut tree orchard in the town. Town officials also adopted the county's hazard mitigation plan, which means the town may be reimbursed by the county for removal of hazardous materials. All other municipalities have adopted the plan, Blakeslee said.

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