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Water and sewer rate hikes on the way

November 15th, 2014 by WCBC Radio

The Cumberland Times News reports that after putting off a decision until after both the primary and general elections, Allegany‚ÄąCounty Commissioners approved increases in county water and sewer rates at their Thursday business meeting. Commission president Michael McKay asked for the delay June 5, when the increases were originally on the agenda, and asked county staff to look for alternatives to the fiscal 2015 rate increases recommended by county staff. McKay said he hoped to help citizens, especially those on fixed incomes, avoid the increases. That delay in implementing the rate increases means the county’s utilities division needed to reduce the capital improvement budget for the remainder of the fiscal year. The increase “represents a bare minimum for operation and debt service,” according to a report prepared by county staff. Years of artificially low rates and the gradual increases of the past few years could cause problems in the future for both elected officials and customers of county water and sewer services. Commissioners could face the possibility of being forced to steeply increase rates, and customers would have to pay increased bills.

 

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