Union Bridge urged to raise water rates Planning commission chair says costs aren't being met


Union Bridge is collecting only 66 percent of the revenue needed to run its water and sewer system, town officials learned last night.

The mayor and town council received the news during a 48-minute work session to discuss the need to raise the town's water and sewer rates.

If the town's 365 water customers share a $26,850 operating shortfall equally, they would have to pay an extra $73.56 per year each. Likewise, the town's 355 sewer customers would have to pay an extra $114.51 annually to cover a $40,650 operating shortfall.

That is only part of the bill.

Proposed improvements to the water and sewer system will cost the town about $600,000, planning commission chairman James Schumacher said.

The town has $200,000 left in a grant from the Maryland Department of the Environment and should qualify for another $300,000, Schumacher said.

He said the remaining $100,000 could be obtained in a low-interest loan that would have annual payments of $17,300. If capital costs were added to the operating costs and shared equally among the customers who have water and sewer service, the increase would amount to $236 a year, Schumacher said.

Councilman Bret D. Grossnickle said he felt capital costs should be billed as a surcharge when needed rather than made a part of the bill to cover operating costs.

The mayor and council asked Schumacher to prepare a rate schedule that would charge all customers a flat fee for water and sewer service, in addition to charges for the amount of service provided.

Pub Date: 12/15/98

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