Glade Valley Government headline 

Walkersville Raises Water Rates

cropped-townseal1.jpgThe Town of Walkersville Commissioners voted this evening to increase water rates across the board. Town Manager Gloria Long Rollins presented the board with ten different choices for increasing the rates. The proposals showed increased revenues ranging from $62,049.22 all the way to $105,242.18.

Burgess Ralph Whitmore solicited input from a larger than average audience at Town Hall. No one rose to speak for or against the plans presented.

Town Commissioner Donald Schildt asked about grants for funding the new water plant. Town Manager Rollins and Burgess Whitmore confirmed that they had applied and will continue applying for grants, but they were not eligible for many of the grants. “These grants want the project to be shovel,” responded Burgess Whitmore.

Burgess Whitmore reminded the Commissioners that the Town will have a $7,000,000 deficit to make up with building the new water plant. The current water rates are too low and “cost less than having a well,” he remarked.

Current water rates begin with a base rate of $50 for in town customers and $75 for out of town customers using up to 10,000 gallons of water. Water usage is then tiered as follows:

CONSUMPTION(galllons)
IN TOWN
OUT OF TOWN
INDUSTRIAL
0  –   10,000 $50.00 $75.00 $50.00
10,001 – 25,000 $2.77 / 1,000 gal $4.14 / 1,000 gal $2.10 / 1,000 gal
25,000 – 50,000 $4.55 / 1,000 gal $6.83 / 1,000 gal $3.41 / 1,000 gal
50,000 + gal $5.90 / 1,000 gal $8.84 / 1,000 gal $4.55 / 1,000 gal

Commissioner Debbie Zimmerman asked how many users pay the base rate. During the last billing cycle, 397 of the 2862 water bills were for the base rate.

Commissioner Russ Winch calculated that the average increase for customers would be $18 every six months at the highest increase. “With the new water treatment plant, the water will be better and not hard. So, there will be reduced maintenance costs in our homes,” Winch noted.

Commissioner Don Schildt moved to increase the base rate $10, tiered rates 10%, and keep out of town costs at one and a half times the in town rate for five years. He wants the Town to re-evaluate the rates in five years, because of savings anticipated from the new water plant.

Walkersville Public Works Director Bob DePaola confirmed that the Town of Walkersville projects savings of $100,000 per year from not having to purchase salt. Commissioner Russ Winch noted that sewage costs will increase with the new plant.

The motion passed unanimously. Beginning with the next billing cycle, the base rates will increase $10 and 10% on usage above 10,000 gallons. GladeValley.net projected the following rates after the change.

CONSUMPTION(galllons)
IN TOWN
OUT OF TOWN
INDUSTRIAL
0  –   10,000 $60.00 $90.00 $60.00
10,001 – 25,000 $3.05 / 1,000 gal $4.58 / 1,000 gal $2.31 / 1,000 gal
25,000 – 50,000 $5.01 / 1,000 gal $7.52 / 1,000 gal $3.75 / 1,000 gal
50,000 + gal $6.49 / 1,000 gal $9.74 / 1,000 gal $5.05 / 1,000 gal
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