Carroll commissioners approve budgets, water-sewer fee rise


May 26, 2004|By Hanah Cho | Hanah Cho,SUN STAFF

The Carroll County commissioners approved yesterday more than $320 million in spending for next year without any tax increases, but they also boosted public water and sewer fees.

The $262.7 million operating budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 calls for continued funding for economic development programs, the school system, round-the-clock ambulance services, the sheriff's office and the detention center. The $62.5 million capital budget includes money for farmland preservation, road maintenance, school projects and the library system.

The increase in public water and sewer fees would affect most of the county's 10,180 customers, most of whom live in South Carroll. Those increases amount to about $43 more a year for water and sewer service for an average household in South Carroll using 100,000 gallons a year. Heavy users - those who consume more than 160,000 gallons a year - will pay up to $70 more a year. South Carroll customers currently pay an average of about $800 per year.

The commissioners said they faced more demands for public safety and other services, rising expenses and a growing population with higher expectations.

Numerous county agencies and departments requested hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional money as the county had little discretionary dollars.

Commissioner Perry L. Jones Jr. said there were "a lot of people who didn't get the full amount they requested, but considering what we had to work with, we had a very good budget process this year."

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