Annapolis council to vote today on academy sewer costs

October 22, 2001|By Amanda J. Crawford | Amanda J. Crawford,SUN STAFF

A tentative agreement reached by the city of Annapolis and the federal government on an increased sewer rate for the Naval Academy will go before the city council tonight for a vote after more than a year of negotiations.

The agreement calls for a renegotiated rate for the academy that is 65 percent higher than what it pays now.

Still, it falls short of the rate paid by other high-use customers in the city, including the state government and St. John's College - a difference of about 70 cents per thousand gallons.

The new rate also is not retroactive to March last year, the month all other city sewer customers had their rates raised. Instead, it would have the Navy pay the increased rate retroactively to July, when the proposal was made.

Mayor Dean L. Johnson said that while he is not completely satisfied with the proposal - $2.59 per thousand gallons compared to $3.29 for other high-use customers in the city - he thinks it is the best that the city can get. "I may not like it, but it resulted from some hard negotiation," he said.

The proposal has been criticized by Alderman Herbert H. McMillan, who said there was no reason to charge "a lower rate to the federal government than to St. John's College or the state government or a business or homeowner in the same category of service."

"I don't think we should continue to be in a position where we have to subsidize the federal government's sewer rate," he said.

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