The change in water and sewer rates affects the cost per unit. It doesn’t change the rate for water and sewer use per thousand gallons.
Water unit fees will increase by $5 per unit per quarter, up to $27 per residential unit from $22.
Sewer unit fees for residences will increase to $36 per unit, an increase of $7 from the previous quarterly rate.
Commercial rates for units have also increased depending on the size of the meter. These changes affect retail and business, hotels and motels, apartments, hospitals and care homes, schools and colleges, and industrial rates.
The full text of the legislation with the rates is available on the official Manchester website, manchestermd.gov, or in person at the town office.
The town also made a change to their administrative policy for water billing in buildings with landlords and tenants. Previously, the town was billing individual tenants, but moving forward, it will send all bills for a property to the landlord for them to distribute.
The council voted unanimously to make the administrative change.
The goal of the change was to cut costs by saving the time it takes for staff to bill each individual tenant. Reading the individual meters isn’t what takes the time, Town Administrator Steve Miller said during the March 12 council meeting when the idea was previously discussed.
“We should not be doing that,” Miller said. “We should not be a clearinghouse for the landlord.”
“We’ll take a check for five different places. We’re okay with how the money comes in,” Kelly Baldwin, director of finance, said at that same meeting. “We just don’t want to be their collection agency.”
This change was originally planned to go in effect with the new water and sewer rates on July 1, but the town chose to push the date back to Oct. 1 in order to give landlords more time to get informed about the change, Miller said.