Manchester council asked to examine property's high water bill

February 25, 1993|By Katherine Richards | Katherine Richards,Staff Writer

Manchester property owners Carroll and Norma Jean Swam asked the Town Council to help them solve a mystery last night.

Mr. Swam said the water bill for a rental property he owns on North Main Street jumped from an average of about $50 a quarter to $623 in the first quarter of 1992. The bill for the second quarter of 1992 was $251, he said.

"I just would like to know what happened. I'm out some $800," he said. "I kind of feel like we've been bamboozled."

When the town replaced the water meter, he said, the bill returned to normal.

However, Town Manager Terry Short said the town had tested the old water meter and it was found to be working properly. He said the Manchester code does not allow the town to give a refund unless a water meter is found to be faulty.

Mayor Earl A.J. "Tim" Warehime Jr. said that usually when a meter fails, it under bills the consumer.

The council, however, agreed to have the water meter tested again at a different laboratory.

Also last night, photographer Maury Feinstein was sworn in as a member of the town's Planning and Zoning Commission. And the council appointed three residents to four-year terms on the town Board of Supervisors of Elections.

The appointees are Joe Lovetro, Mario Berardelli and Marianne Warehime, who is the wife of Mayor Warehime. They were the only people who applied for the posts.

In other business, the council passed two resolutions to tie up legal loose ends.

One of the resolutions officially hands the town's tree-protection duties to Carroll County.

Mayor Warehime said the town had decided about four months ago to turn its responsibilities under the state Forest Conservation Act over to the county, and this was the formal vehicle for doing so.

In another legal-housecleaning move, the council voted to waive any water-replacement fees for the Olde Towne subdivision. In 1991, Mary T. Dokas and Herman M. Mednick agreed to give the town a half-acre of land, which is now the site of the town's Southern Pumping Station.

In return, the council had agreed to waive any water-replacement fees owed for their Olde Towne subdivision. Those are the fees normally paid by a developer if a subdivision must hook into the town's water-supply system.

The council's business meeting was followed by a work session on capital improvement planning. Mr. Short reported that, for fiscal 1994, every penny on the real estate tax rate will generate about $4,500 in revenue for the town.

He said state figures show that, to raise as much revenue as the town raised this year, the town would need a real estate tax rate of 37 cents per $100 of assessed value.

This year, Manchester had a real estate tax rate of 39 cents. Mr. Short compared that with the tax rate in Hampstead (53 cents), Taneytown (78 cents) and Sykesville (83 cents).

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