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Derry revokes sewage ordinance

| Sunday, May 13, 2012, 2:08 p.m.

Derry Borough Council revoked an ordinance Monday that revised sewage rates after four members said high-end users were being asked to pay too much too soon.

Councilman Todd Krehlik, who made a motion to repeal the ordinance, said he agreed the waste-treatment plant needs more revenue, but suggested any increases be spread out over a few years and residents receive a bill each month.

"I understand we're running a town, and the sewage company needs more revenue, but do we have to take a hard line?" Krehlik asked.

Council, by a 4-3 vote, approved Krehlik's request, with Sharon Shearer, Debbie Matteo and President David McWherter opposing the motion.

"We're in this position because past council kept passing the buck," McWherter said.

The rates were last increased in 1992 and have remained steady at $20 per month for the first 3,000 gallons and $1.66 for every additional 1,000 gallons. With the rates that were approved in September, residents would have paid a flat $10 per household and $6.25 for each 1,000 gallons of consumed water. Councilman John Ritenour cast the single vote in September opposing the revised rates.

The new rates were to have taken effect Oct. 1.

For residents consuming limited water, the revised monthly rate would have been less than the current cost.

The borough's tentative 2003 budget included the anticipated additional revenue from the revised rates, Shearer said. The borough has until the end of the year to approve its budget and decide how much money should be allocated to the plant.

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