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Water bill increase likely


Water bills in Baltimore County would increase by an average of $15 a year beginning this April if a requested surcharge is approved, the county public works director said yesterday.

The director, Gene L. Neff, has asked his Baltimore counterpart, George G. Balog, to add 20 percent to all county metered water bills after April 1.

Mr. Balog said the request still must be publicized and approved by the city Board of Estimates, but Mr. Neff said he expects it to pass.

While this money would increase the county's contribution to the water fund, the request for the surcharge doesn't mean the county has given up its fight with the city over water-use charges, said Baltimore County Attorney H. Emslie Parks.

Last August, an arbitration panel ruled against the county in a 13-year-old dispute about the method of charging for water from the city-run metropolitan system. The county was ordered to pay $10.2 million, plus interest, into the water fund.

That decision was upheld last month by a Baltimore County Circuit Court judge, but Mr. Parks said the county is awaiting a written order from the judge before deciding whether to appeal further.

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