Commissioner Storke Wonders Why Town Should Pay Severn Trent Fine

After hearing a recommendation for a tax rate that would yield an additional half-million dollars and sitting through a presentation about having a consultant study the adequacy of the utility rates, the political leadership was about ready to wrap up its workshop.  But one more financial discussion came before the commissioners.

Commissioner Storke inquired about a $5,000 fine the Town of Elkton had apparently agreed to pay.  It was levied against the town by the Maryland Department of Environment because of some issues at the sewer plant.  A range of remarks came from around the table where the elected officials and professional staff were seated, about whether Ekton was responsible for paying the penalty since a contractor, Severn Trent, operates the plant under a contract for the municipality.

The town had already agreed to pay half the penalty assessed by the state and Commissioner Storke indicated that he was concerned with that since the municipality didn’t operate the plant.  “I’m not in favor of paying any of that fine.  We don’t have a partnership with Severn Trent, we have a contract,” he remarked to the professional staff and mayor.  Mayor Fisona then agreed with Storke.  It was unclear where the authorization to pay a portion of the fine had come from with municipal government, since the mayor indicated he agreed with the commissioner.

The Cecil Whig has a much more detailed story on this aspect of the meeting, so you may want to see Friday’s paper for more coverage on the $5,000 penalty.

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