RISING SUN — Town water and sewer bills will go up in August after the town’s board of commissioners approved a pair of rate increases Tuesday night.
Water will increase 16%, while sewer will go up 12% in the resolution unanimously approved. This means the cost of water rises from $9.81 to $11.38 per 1,000 gallons. Sewer will go up about $1.32, raising the $11 charge per 1,000 gallons to $12.32.
“For an average customer using 5,000 gallons a month, the bill will go up around $14 total,” Town Administrator Calvin Bonenberger explained.
Unlike most other Cecil County towns, Rising Sun does not have a minimum usage, a point for which Bonenberger says the town does not get enough credit.
“In other communities you pay for 10,000 gallons whether you use it or not,” he said Wednesday. “This gives our residents plenty of opportunity to cut down their usage and save money.”
This is actually the second of a five-phase rate increase that began in 2017 with a 6% rise in both water and sewer rates.
“This rate increase should have happened in January 2018,” Bonenberger said.
The first increase was supposed to happen Jan. 1, 2017, but it was held off until August 2018.
‘We took advantage of the fact that the costs associated with infrastructure did not happen as soon as it did,” Bonenberger said.
With the bill not coming due as expected, the mayor and commissioners decided to give residents a break.
During that time, the town has been working on redirecting efforts to get more users on its system. Rising Sun is now getting impact fees for hookups. These new customers mean more people will share the $14 million cost of the wastewater system that went online in July 2015 and the new $10 million water distribution system that went online in November.
Bonenberger also said Rising Sun will continue to give residents a 1% discount for paying the water and sewer bill early, similar to its 2% discount for paying the property tax bill in a timely fashion.