Consultants Recommend Nearly 60% Increase in Elkton Water Rates Over Four Years

NEWS BRIEF

Elkton Town Hall — Jan. 13, 2010 — The Mayor and Commissioners heard preliminary recommendations for utility rate increases in Elkton this afternoon.   A draft report presented by the Municipal and Financial Services Group found that Elkton needs a 59% increase for the water fund and the sewer account needs 12% over four-year if the town is to maintain adequate revenue for the system.  Rates were based on a range of costs variables such as operating expenses, debt servicing, and major facilities expansion, maintenance and upkeep.

As the town board heard the numbers, they mulled over options.  When Commissioner Storke commented that the nearly 60% water rate increase was “a little hard to take,” one of the consultants agreed, saying “It’s not a little hard, it’s very hard.”  But he quickly reminded the board “don’t shoot the messenger.  As the workshop continued questions moved on to the importance of hook up fees as the way to fund major expansion so the town doesn’t have to shift costs for major projects over to rate-payers. 

Since this was a preliminary report, the subject will be something the town board works on at future sessions as it develops the budget.

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We’ll file a detailed report in the days ahead.

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4 responses to “Consultants Recommend Nearly 60% Increase in Elkton Water Rates Over Four Years

  1. Tell me again now how they are looking out for citizens when they say developers don’t have to pay that money. Us voters are going to have to make up that money now aren’t we. See I was right all along.

  2. Fred:

    The consultants discussed the matter of cost shifting. A few times they made the point that if you waive or reduce costs in one area, you’re going to have to allocate those costs to someone else since these are the costs for operating and maintaining a system.

    For example, the board wondered if it wouldn’t be a good idea to reduce cost for the low-end user or for seniors. The consultants agreed that they could do that as a public policy option, but then they must figure out whose going to pay those costs.

    The same discussion went on with waving the hook-up fees. If the money isn’t collected up-front to fund major expansions and upkeep, you’re going to have to collect it from someone else, such as the rate-payers.

  3. Joe are you watching this? Somebody better start watching it. I thought you were looking out for the citizens Joe. What happened Joe. What happened.

  4. Watching Joe:

    Don’t know if the mayor was watching this or not, but they’ve certainly caused a group of town voters to watch the actions of the council these days. We’ve seen a difference since we started providing news coverage of the meeting nearly two years ago. But hopefully the mayor was watching it and doing what he could to mitigate the rate elevation for it’s too late now to do much. As one official joked the voters, I mean the rate-payers will be watching.

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