FROSTBURG - The Maryland Public Service Commission's decision about water rates charged by the city of Frostburg became official Friday.

No appeals regarding the proposed order, issued May 1, were filed, according to Kathleen Berends, an associate manager for the Public Service Commission.

Although the decision is final, water rates have not yet been determined.

"We're working on some draft rates," said John Kirby, city administrator.

The county and the city now have to work together on establishing a common dwelling equivalent unit EDU definition and a reporting schedule, according to Kirby. An EDU is the number of gallons an average household would use each month.

"The Public Service Commission did not set a rate - they set a methodology for determining a rate," said Jay George, the county's assistant finance director.

The 23-page PSC decision provides guidelines for determining those rates.

Neither Kirby nor George knew when the rates would be determined. After the county and city decide on a rate, it has to be submitted to the PSC for approval, said Kirby.

"We don't have a timeline," he added.

The county buys water from the city and sells it to residents of Hoffman, Borden, Zihlman, Carlos/Shaft, Eckhart and Grahamtown. In July 2003, the city set rates for its residents at $2.35 per 1,000 gallons, and for nonresidents at $4.25.

The rates for nonresidents have been a point of contention for the past several years. After an effort to resolve the disagreement by way of a task force comprised of staff and elected officials failed, the county filed a complaint with the PSC in 2005.

Jennifer Raley can be reached at

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