Officials mull higher rates for water, sewer hookups

Flat fee would boost costs in many areas

Carroll County

September 17, 2000|By Maria Blackburn | Maria Blackburn,SUN STAFF

Water and sewer connection charges may soon rise in Carroll County.

The county wants to institute a flat rate of $4,725 for connecting new homes to its water service and $4,741 for sewer service, said county Comptroller Eugene C. Curfman. These rates are higher than what many customers are now charged.

The increase is being proposed to fund various capital projects for the county's water and sewer system, including the new water treatment plant at Piney Run, Curfman said.

The issue will be discussed at a public information meeting tomorrow night in Eldersburg. It is the fifth information meeting on this topic that Curfman has held since Aug. 3.

Although water and sewer rates are the same for all county residents on the system, connection rates differ, Curfman said.

In Bark Hill near Union Bridge, for example, water connection costs $1,250, compared with $3,888 in the Freedom District in South Carroll. In Hampstead, sewer connection costs $1,624, compared with $5,816 in Freedom.

Freedom residents would pay less for sewer connection under the proposed changes, Curfman noted.

"This will save a lot of confusion in calculating the rates," Curfman said.

Carroll County had 7,155 water clients and 7,447 sewer clients as of June 30. Current homeowners would not be affected.

Curfman said he did not recall when connection rates were last increased.

In addition, the county is proposing a new front foot maintenance fee for all residents of Hampstead, Pleasant Valley, Freedom and Bark Hill. The fee would be based on the length of water and sewer lines that run by a property.

Under the proposal, homeowners would pay 91 cents per foot for sewer lines and 92 cents per foot for water lines.

The fee would be collected annually, after customers had paid any charges from when the county put in the water and sewer systems, he said.

Formulas would be used to adjust the amount paid by homeowners with large, oddly shaped or corner lots, Curfman said.

The maintenance fees would fund replacement of water and sewer lines and projects that benefit the water system.

The proposed fees would be an alternative to increasing water and sewer rates, Curfman said.

If adopted by the county commissioners, the proposed changes would go into effect no sooner than November, Curfman said.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Liberty High School, 5855 Bartholow Road.

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