Council expected to approve fee increase for new home hookups

November 14, 1994|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Sun Staff Writer

The Taneytown City Council tonight is expected to approve an 83 percent increase in the fee charged to connect newly constructed homes to the city's water and sewer systems as part of its long-range strategy for dealing with growth.

The so-called benefit assessment fees -- which are now $1,200 -- would go up to $2,200 under the proposal before council members tonight, said John L. Kendall, the city's manager.

The increased fees -- in the discussion stage for months -- would be collected only for new homes.

The council is expected to approve the increase because, Mr. Kendall said, the need for upgraded water and sewage facilities will only grow between now and 2000. More than 1,160 new homes are in the planning pipeline for the period, Mr. Kendall said.

CDM, the city's Lancaster, Pa.,-based engineering firm, is to present its projections of water and sewage needs during tonight's meeting, Mr. Kendall said. Those projections call for nearly doubling the capacity of the city's 700,000-gallon-a-day sewage treatment plant to 1.2 million gallons a day.

The city currently processes about 450,000 gallons a day, Mr. Kendall said. The reason for an expansion -- which would cost at least $4 million -- would be to ensure enough capacity for decades, he said.

Much of the cost of any sewage treatment plant expansion would be covered by the federal government, Mr. Kendall said.

Should the council approve the higher benefit assessment fees, the proposed homes that planners are already aware of would generate more than $2.5 million.

In other business tonight:

* The council is expected to open bids for the third phase of the city's sewage line replacement project. This phase, which the city estimates will cost between $150,000 and $200,000, will replace the main sewage line that runs from the south side of town to the sewage treatment plant. Ten companies requested information on the project.

* The council also is expected to approve new employee guidelines for the city's 17 employees. The guidelines set new standards on all noneconomic issues, such as vacation, sick leave and work policies.

* Thomas A. Stansfield, the city's attorney, is expected to introduce a measure that would turn the city's 17-year-old prohibition of trick-or-treating into an ordinance. In its current form, the prohibition cannot be enforced, according to Mr. Kendall. Mr. Stansfield's measure would allow police to stop violators and issue tickets.

The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. in City Hall.

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