While the Elkton board was in session Wednesday afternoon, the Commissioners heard a proposal from the Municipal and Financial Services Group to do a water and sewer rate study for the town. This consultancy group previously completed a study of Elkton’s rate adequacy and recommended a 19% sewer rate increase in 2007 and a 12% increase in 2008. This examination, which will not exceed a cost of $24,850, will draw on data from the previous review and incorporate changes that have taken place since that time, to provide recommended rates for the town’s utilities.
Once the discussion started, Commissioner Storke inquired if there would be any stimulus money available to help with town projects. “I try to look at every dollar we can,” the Commissioner said. “If there’s money available, I’d like to see us go after it.’ Based on the response from staff, it didn’t appear there were any specific opportunities right now. Continuing with the theme of increasing efficiency and controlling costs, Commissioner Jablonksi asked about the possibility of the town directly employing an engineer, rather than using KCI. She said the town could use this staff person to do plan reviews and engineering. Elkton should be able to hire someone for less than what they’re paying for consulting right now, she thought. The town administrator pointed out that there were things a staff engineer could do such as plan reviews and some basic engineering work, but there are also many projects that require a range of disciplines for design and oversight and that no one engineer would have the credentials and capabilities to oversee all the work the town needs done.