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.