Community Fire Company of Rising Sun will continue to get free town utilities

The Community Fire Company of Rising Sun will continue to be exempt from water drawn by the engine house and the Bay Restoration Fund although it will be billed if the banquet hall uses more than 1,000 gallons of water each month.

RISING SUN — The tweaking continues in Rising Sun as town officials add language to its water rate tables specifying how much to charge certain non-profit organizations.

Adding “Item E and “Item F” to its Water Rate Table was what was behind Resolution 2022-07, which the board passed.

“The town has been offering discounts without clarifying them in its rate tables,” said Calvin Bonenberger, town administrator. Those discounts include paying the Bay Restoration Fund charges for these organizations since inception of the so-called “flush tax” in 2009.

“Obviously there’s expenses with us providing water and sewer,” Bonenberger said, noting when the town switched from its series of low-volume wells to Chester Water Authority Rising Sun is now paying for water coming from Pennsylvania. “The town will provide a waiver of fees based on the town’s costs but not out of pocket costs.”

This means the churches and Little League will pay for its own share of BRF and will pay a service fee for use of the first 1,000 gallons of water.

“All of the water the Community Fire Company of Rising Sun uses in the engine room is free,” Bonenberger said. “In the banquet hall the first 1,000 gallons is free, then they pay the full rate.”

It was noted that churches operating schools or daycares may use more water, but would get a discount on the first 2,000 gallons.

Commissioner Dave Warnick said this legislation basically establishes how Rising Sun has been billing the fire company.

“We’re just codifying our existing practice with the fire company,” Warnick said. “We’ve been subsidizing it all along plus the Chester Water Authority costs up to a certain level.”

Warnick agreed it was time to change that.

Item E spells out the way Rising Sun Little League facilities and churches in town limits will pay for utilities connected to the town system. This is where those out-of-pocket expenses to a third party are outlined.

Item F pertains to critical public safety related to fire and emergency medical services. This is where the town states it would continue to exempt the fire company from payment of its share of BRF.

Any churches or league facilities on the town system but outside of corporate limits would continue to be charged at the current rate paid by other outside customers.

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