Ocean Pines to see increase in water and wastewater rates
By Bob Lassahn
Residents of the Ocean Pines Water and Wastewater Service Area will be seeing an increase on their bills. The Worcester County Commissioners voted to increase the minimum quarterly charge from $100 to $120.
Of this $20 increase an additional $15 is related to operations and maintenance increases, while five dollars is being set aside in a reserve fund for repairs and replacement. This marks the first time the service area has been assessed for a reserve fund and the step is deemed necessary since the plant is now 30 years old.
The EDU charge, previously set at $47 per quarter, has been raised to $55 per quarter to pay down the loans on the plant expansion necessary for build-out of the community. This amount is not related to any further plant capacity that could serve other areas brought into the system.
“Backbone” EDU charges (those assessed over and above the base EDU charge for Ocean Pines) for some sub-areas in the Ocean Pines community are being reduced slightly from $46.25 to $41.25 due to a refinancing on the loans for these areas.
With the addition of the Bay Restoration Fund or “Flush Fee” the minimum quarterly bill for the Ocean Pines service area would be $182.50. The county is seeking relief from the Flush Fee based upon plant performance and has applied to have the assessment removed from the Ocean Pines Service Area. If successful the minimum quarterly charge could drop to $175.
The county commissioners approved the increases following a public hearing at their June 7 session. There was no public comment from the Ocean Pines area.
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