City council considers raising water service fees

The Westminster City Council is considering a 500 percent increase in the charge its water customers pay to have service turned back on after it has been cut off.

The proposed change would raise the current $10 fee to $50. Public Works Director Thomas B. Beyard said, in a report to the council in June, that $50 would be a reasonable minimum charge.


Members of the council's public utilities committee also are considering the following changes:

* To allow the city to cut off water service for non-payment of sewer bills.


City law now specifies that service can be cut off only for non-payment of water bills.

* To initiate a fee payable when water department personnel have to take more than one final meter reading.

Repeated "final" readings cut into the water delivery system crew's work time on major projects, said city engineer Joseph Moss.

He said some customers seek additional final readings when property settlements are delayed.

* To change the $100 annual flat rate for sprinkler service to a sliding scale that varies by connection size.

The council considered the changes at Monday night's meeting, but asked committee chairman Edward S. Calwell to justify the increases and consider exempting residential sprinklers from the fee.


* Westminster: A Shamrock Circle resident reported on Monday that someone had removed his jacket from a school locker. Loss is estimated at $100.


A Reisterstown resident told police on Sunday that someone entered her vehicle when it was parked on Sullivan Avenue in Westminster and removed $50.