Cumberland Times-News

Latest news

May 23, 2013

County: Increase in water rates planned

CUMBERLAND — CUMBERLAND — Many customers in Allegany County will likely see a small increase in their water and sewer rates during the upcoming fiscal year.

Customers in a few districts could see more substantial rate hikes, said Mark Yoder, the county’s utilities division chief. A few rates went down, mainly sewer front footage charges, Yoder pointed out.

Cresaptown and Jennings Run customers will see the largest fee increases under the proposal. Jennings Run customers could see an $8 increase per quarter for sewer surcharges, while Cresaptown customers will pay $9 more per quarter for water service fees, according to a report from county staff, presented by Yoder.

Increased costs for Cresaptown customers will be phased in over three years, with another increase planned in 2015.

Cresaptown customers could also lose an odd perk, not available to other county residents, too.

Cresaptown customers receive 6,000 gallons of water as part of their minimum charge. That perk should be phased out over time, Yoder said. County officials have held public meetings with customers about the increases. Yoder made a presentation to commissioners about the rates at their Thursday business meeting at county offices on Kelly Road.

Most increases will be $2 to $3 per quarter or less — that’s about a dollar a month, Yoder said. Most of the increases are because consent orders with the state required expensive upgrades to water and sewer plants.

Rates have been held artificially low, causing the water and wastewater systems to operate at a deficit. The current policy is to make small increases on a regular basis rather than a whopper of a hit to customers after years of no increases, Yoder said.

All funding for water and sewer comes from users of the system, no money is used from the general fund, Yoder said.

The county will likely be adding more customers, as well.

“Federal drinking water and wastewater standards will continue to force most small community systems out of business and have them seeking absorption into ... the county,” according to the staff report.

The rate hikes will not be effective until approved by county commissioners. The proposed increases have already been passed, in resolution form, by the Allegany County Sanitary Commission.

Rates could increase during the fiscal year should water and sewer suppliers to the county increase rates.

The cities of Cumberland and Keyser, W.Va., are planning rate increases, Yoder said.

Cumberland’s rates for handling county wastewater increased 15 percent during 2011, resulting in about $250,000 in increased costs per year. Cumberland is expected to add another 15 percent in 2014.

Keyser’s rates could rise as much as 30 percent, Yoder said. Those increases will be added to the usage rate costs.

“The county must continue to seek to achieve more favorable water and sewer rates from the municipalities. ... Water purchase costs account for over half of our total water systems budgets,” the staff report reads.

The trouble is that even with rate increases, the county’s budget can’t meet needed capital improvements and other upgrades, let alone decent salaries for skilled employees, the staff report said.

The county utilities department has faced a loss of employees because of the relatively low salaries paid, according to the staff report. “Our current building structure does not allow for significant capital improvements,” Yoder said. “We’re getting stretched further and further ... both in number of customers and geographically across the county.”

Contact Matthew Bieniek at mbieniek@times-news.com.

1
Text Only
Latest news
  • Puff & Stuff owners agree to settlement in federal court

    CUMBERLAND — The owners of Puff & Stuff stores in Cumberland and LaVale agreed to forfeit $173,988 to settle claims that they sold synethic drugs at their stores.

    April 23, 2014

  • Orndorff.jpg Hampshire man sentenced to 40 years plus in child death

    ROMNEY, W.Va. – Hampshire County Circuit Court Judge H. Charles Carl III sentenced Cory A. Orndorff, 23, of Green Spring on Wednesday to 40 years for one count of child abuse resulting in the death of an 18-month-old child

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wills Mountain wild fire 70 percent contained

    CENTERVILLE, Pa. — Fire on Wills Mountain that began Saturday reportedly covered more than 800 acres by Wednesday morning and was 70 percent contained, according to a public information officer with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry.

    April 23, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
     

    April 23, 2014

  • West Virginia flags lowered for former congressman

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — State and U.S. flags at state facilities are at half-staff in honor of former Rep. Mick Staton.
    Staton died April 14. He was 74.
     

    April 23, 2014

  • Truck catches fire on city bridge

    CUMBERLAND — Cumberland firefighters doused a pickup truck fire on the Baltimore Street bridge spanning Wills Creek about 11 a.m. Tuesday, but not before it destroyed the engine compartment and damaged the passenger area of the Chevrolet.

    April 22, 2014

  • Carbon monoxide causes evacuation at Ramada

    CUMBERLAND — High carbon monoxide readings at the Ramada Inn on George Street resulted in the evacuation of the first floor at midday Tuesday and caused a senior citizen prom to be moved elsewhere.

    April 22, 2014

  • picketing 2-1.jpg Workers begin picketing outside WV Schools for Deaf and Blind

    ROMNEY, W.Va. – Child care workers and union reps began picketing outside the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind Tuesday morning.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Romney firefighters get federal grant

    ROMNEY, W.Va. — The Romney Fire Company will receive $67,925 in funding through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.

    April 22, 2014

  • Sgt. Walter May.jpg Sgt. Walt May earns Award of Merit

    CUMBERLAND — The Maryland Natural Resources Police honored Sgt. Walt May of Westernport during its annual awards ceremony held last week at Chesapeake College.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Facebook
Must Read
House Ads
NDN Video
Michael Strahan's First Day on "GMA" Amazon's Deal With HBO Leapfrogs Streaming Rivals Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Georgetown police officer filmed tripping students Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Lupita Nyong'o Named People's 'Most Beautiful' Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Rise of the Milkbots Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes
NDN Video
Michael Strahan's First Day on "GMA" Amazon's Deal With HBO Leapfrogs Streaming Rivals Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Georgetown police officer filmed tripping students Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Lupita Nyong'o Named People's 'Most Beautiful' Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Rise of the Milkbots Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes