Ris­ing Sun con­sid­ers dis­count for pay­ing wa­ter bills early

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By JANE BELLMYER

jbellmyer@ce­cil­whig.com

— Town wa­ter and sewer cus­tomers may soon re­ceive a dis­count for pay­ing their bills early.

Ris­ing Sun is one of the last re­main­ing towns in Ce­cil County to still of­fer a dis­count for pay­ing prop­erty taxes early and the mayor and com­mis­sion­ers are now con­sid­er­ing in­tro­duc­ing a res­o­lu­tion that would give

RIS­ING SUN Traf­fic stop yields heroin, three ar­rests

jbellmyer@ce­cil­whig.com

— Po­lice ar­rest­ted three peo­ple on Thurs­day af­ter a traf­fic stop found more than 60 bags of heroin and a large amount of cash, ac­cord­ing to the North East Po­lice Depart­ment.

Jamie L. Lewis, 26, Tim­o­thy G. McCrone, 46, both of North East, and Archie W. Newby, 35, of Elk­ton, have all been charged with pos­ses­sion of heroin and pos­ses­sion of para­pher­na­lia fol­low­ing a traf­fic stop at around 2 p.m. on Thurs­day, said NEPD Cpl. Stephen Yates, who con­ducted the drug in­ves­ti­ga­tion that led to the traf­fic stop.

NEPD Cpl. Michael Hickey made the traf­fic stop, dur­ing which po­lice dis­cov­ered 63 bags of heroin in five bun­dles and a large amount of cash in­side the car, Yates said. Hy­po­der­mic nee­dles were also found.

NORTH EAST

the town’s 1,000 wa­ter and sewer cus­tomers a dis­count for pay­ing their bill early as well.

Cur­rently cus­tomers have 20 days from re­ceipt of the monthly bill to pay the full amount. In July, Ris­ing Sun started charg­ing 10 per­cent in­ter­est on un­paid bal­ances. Calvin Bo­nen­berger, town ad­min­is­tra­tor, said this was a move to cut the num­ber of peo­ple who are ha­bit­u­ally months be­hind.

“We’ve had some peo­ple go six months or more with­out pay­ing the bill,” Bo­nen­berger said Thurs­day, adding that those cus­tomers pay the old­est bal­ance to keep ser­vices in place.

Ris­ing Sun’s min­i­mum usage for wa­ter and sewer is only 1,000 gal­lons, Bo­nen­berger said and those house­holds on av­er­age re­ceive a monthly bill around $33. Since the town switched to monthly billing in 2012, he said many cus­tomers find it eas­ier to pay the amount owed. How­ever, the switch from quar­terly to monthly billing also means more man hours from town hall in or­der to make col­lec­tions.

“We can spend 100 man hours each month,” he said, adding that was the ef­fort taken when billing was quar­terly.

To cut costs, but also to help cus­tomers, town of­fi­cials are try­ing to de­ter­mine how much of a break they can of­fer for mak­ing the pay­ment within 10 days.

“Let’s say you do a 1 per­cent or 2 per­cent dis­count or a $5 flat rate, which­ever is higher,” Bo­nen­berger said. “This is an eco­nomic re­cov­ery ef­fort for all play­ers.”

He said com­mer­cial cus­tomers would also get a dis­count, but at a dif­fer­ent rate.

“The town could take the po­si­tion that we need every dol­lar we get,” he added. “But that’s not good for all peo­ple in­volved. We need to make it cost-ef­fec­tive to live in Ris­ing Sun.”

The res­o­lu­tion could be in­tro­duced as soon as the Nov. 8 town meet­ing, although the board voted Tues­day night to be­gin that meet­ing a half hour ear­lier be­cause that’s also the date of the gen­eral elec­tion. The agenda for that meet­ing is also ex­pected to be short.

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