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County Water, Sewer Rates to Increase July 1

The Board of Carroll County Commissioners voted Tuesday to increase water and sewer rates.

Residents using county water and sewer services will see their bills increase July 1.

According to Comptroller Rob Burk, the average increase for residential users will be approximately 9 percent or $7 to $10 dollars per quarter for water service and 3 percent or $4 to $5 per quarter for sewer service.

The proposed changes were presented to the board of commissioners on March 15 and were included in the public hearing for the budget on May 14.

Burk said water and sewer users pay the costs associated with operating and maintaining the systems.The costs to operate and maintain the systems are increasing, he said, and that is being passed on to users.

Carroll County has an agreement with Baltimore City to obtain water from the Liberty Reservoir as well as a contract with Maryland Environmental Services (MES) to operate the Freedom Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Commissioner Richard Rothschild requested that Burk and his staff explore opportunities to find increased efficiencies in negotiating contracts with Baltimore City and MES.

"It sounds like there are escalations going on every year unchecked," Rothschild said. "It requires a little bit of due diligence."

Jeff Topper, deputy director of the Department of Public Works, said that county representatives have periodic meetings with MES to look closely at payments and question costs. 

Commissioner Doug Howard responded, "But they don’t have to be the ones who operate that plant, right?"

Howard requested that in the coming weeks, the director of public works meet with the commissioners to further discuss contracts and commitments with Baltimore City and MES.

The commissioners voted 4-1 to increase the water and sewer rates with Commissioner Haven Shoemaker voting against the increase.

Lisa May 30, 2012 at 11:18 AM
I just paid my water bill and found out that my family of 5 uses an average of 12,000. This is less than a family of 4 who average 18,000. Yet my bill is 225.00 -it sure would be nice if we can get a bonus reduction in cost for conserving water.
Buck Harmon May 30, 2012 at 11:34 AM
Is that 225.00 per quarter?
Buck Harmon May 30, 2012 at 11:36 AM
Carroll residents pay more for sewer and water than Baltimore City and County.
Robin Nicole May 30, 2012 at 12:03 PM
My water bill is almost as much as my electric bill (when you convert it over to quarterly). I was shocked by the cost when I first moved to Maryland. Our conservation efforts apparently are working for electric, but not for water. Don't know what else I can do.
Concerned Citizen May 30, 2012 at 09:42 PM
The last time, they nearly doubled the rates, and wasn't that long ago. Our 2- person household pays something like $150 to $175 per quarter. When we lived in Reisterstown we paid maybe $30 to $40 per quarter. Ridiculous.
Ed May 30, 2012 at 09:42 PM
The Baltimroe City wtaer system which serves the city, Baltimore County and parts of Anne Arundel and Howard is cheaper because it does huge volume, so costs are spread out among many. Smaller services like Carroll and our towns tends to be much moore expensive. I own a row home in Towson and the three tenants there average about $75 per quarter. My family of 5 in taneytown pays about 150 or so a quarter.
kem mason June 01, 2012 at 01:14 AM
WE HAVE WATER BILLS AS HIGH AS 500-600 PER QUARTER. AND THEY WANT TO RAISE IT AGAIN. HOW ABOUT SOME SUPPORT FOR THE HIGH PRICES WE PAY. AND WE CONSERVE. WE HAVE TO.
John June 13, 2012 at 06:24 PM
My undertstanding is that it is true that Carroll County residents pay substantially more for water than Baltimore County and City residents. It appears that we are subsidizing the water use for Baltimore County and City. We need to drive a much better contract with Baltimore.
C. L. Moore October 16, 2012 at 09:01 AM
Nobody tells you the whole truth when you're buying a home and who would think to ask whether such a situation exists. This makes your home much more expensive. For a while when the housing market was booming homes in Carroll were selling for the same price as the same homes elsewhere but no more. Or maybe this generation is just smarter. We moved here because the same home cost less than elsewhere. We could have lived anywhere. Look at how much you spend in gas commuting to work. Add that to the water and sewer and trash pick up and homes are cheaper in Howard and Montgomery County. And look at the difference in resale. The comment that someone made about us needing to drive a better deal with Baltimore is so true. Whoever made this deal with the city of Baltimore must not live in Carroll County. We are one state so why is it that we can't use Baltimore city's water without paying ridiculous rates? I'm wondering how much all of the small towns in Carroll having vested interests in taking care of their own water has to do with it. If Carroll functioned as one entity and we all used the same water from Baltimore it makes sense that it would cost less. Even within the county some of us pay more or less than others which is unfair to many.
Chris MacDonald November 03, 2012 at 06:13 PM
I'm in tears here. My water bill just jumped from $104 to $208 -- exactly double. To be honest, I can't pay it. It's too much. I don't know what I'm going to do. This is outrageous. Something needs to be done. I feel sick.

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