Rates to hold steady

Pottstown Bor­ough Au­thor­ity adopts pre­lim­i­nary bud­gets for wa­ter, sewer sys­tems

The Community Connection - - FRONT PAGE - By Evan Brandt ebrandt@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @PottstownNews on Twit­ter

POTTSTOWN » Al­though bor­ough res­i­dents may have a po­ten­tial dou­ble digit tax hike loom­ing over their heads, at least the wa­ter/sewer bill is not go­ing up.

On Oct. 17, the Pottstown Bor­ough Au­thor­ity adopted pre­lim­i­nary bud­gets for its wa­ter and sewer sys­tems — which also serve users in West Potts­grove, Lower Potts­grove and Up­per Potts­grove.

Ac­cord­ing to Fi­nance Di­rec­tor Jan­ice Lee, the com­bined wa­ter bud­get is set at $6,884,272 for 2018 and no rate hike is an­tic­i­pated.

The wa­ter rate was in­creased in July of this year, with the av­er­age bill go­ing up 14 per­cent.

The res­i­den­tial base rate for be­ing con­nected to the wa­ter sys­tem was raised from $35 per quar­ter to $41 per quar­ter — a 17 per­cent in­crease

The us­age rate was in­creased from $2.78 per 748 gal­lons to $3.05 per 748 gal­lons a 9.7 per­cent hike.

Taken to­gether, that will in­crease the av­er­age house­hold’s quar­terly bill by 14 per­cent, from $62.80 to $71.50 — a $34.80 in­crease over the course of a year.

The com­bined sewer bud­get for 2018 adds up to $11,606,843, said Lee. It also calls for no in­crease in fees.

How­ever, Lee cau­tioned that the bud­gets are pre­lim­i­nary.

Not only must both bud­gets be ul­ti­mately ap­proved by bor­ough coun­cil, bor­ough hall does not yet have fig­ures for 2018 health in­sur-

ance rates, and that could al­ter the num­bers, she said.

As for the tax hike, which Pottstown Bor­ough Man­ager Mark Flan­ders in­di­cated last month could be as high as 23 per­cent, there has been no word and a smat­ter­ing of pub­lic dis­cus­sion on coun­cil.

The next meet­ing of coun­cil’s fi­nance com­mit­tee, where most of those dis­cus­sions oc­cur, is cur­rently sched­uled for Nov. 8, one day af­ter the gen­eral elec­tion.

It was re­vealed last month that Pottstown Bor­ough Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Dan We­and asked coun­cil Vice Pres­i­dent Sh­eryl Miller to re­sign from the fi­nance com­mit­tee be­cause she is not run­ning for re­elec­tion and will not have to be in of­fice to face the con­se­quences of the 2018 bud­get.

Miller re­fused and turned the ta­bles on We­and, say­ing of he loses his re­elec­tion bid on Nov. 7, he should re­sign from the fi­nance com­mit­tee. We­and is op­posed by Repub­li­can Jen­nifer Green.

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