Customers in Berlin to see price jump for water, sewer and stormwater services
(Sept. 1, 2022) Utility customers in Berlin will see the Sept. 1 rate increases for water, sewer and stormwater services take effect on their October billing statements.
In July, the Berlin Town Council voted to increase water and sewer capital service fees and double the town’s stormwater fees to cover future expenses.
Water capital service fees were set at $5 for residential properties and $10 for commercial properties, while sewer capital service fees were set at $14.50 for residential properties and $29.50 for commercial properties. That makes the total increase for water and sewer bills $19.50 for residential customers and $39.50 for commercial.
“It’s going to be set aside as the capital reserve for those two funds for future capital projects and unforeseen repairs to the water and wastewater plant,” said Finance Director Natalie Saleh.
As for stormwater, residential rates were raised from $50 to $100 annually and the commercial annual fee increased to $35 per ERU (equivalent residential unit), with a minimum of $100.
The price hikes are expected to bring in an additional $75,400 from residences and $48,000 from businesses, as the Bayside Gazette has previously reported.
Saleh said the stormwater increases are also to cover future infrastructure and unexpected costs. She said many projects in this fiscal year are supported by funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, so once that money runs out, the town will need funding to continue work.
She mentioned that the town’s wastewater infrastructure is aging, and that wells and piping will be in need of repairs.
Berlin’s Water Resources Department is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the town’s water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure, which includes ditches, drains, ponds, pipes, pump stations, water treatment (for drinking water and wastewater) and water towers (for storage). Treated wastewater is sprayed onto two wooded irrigation sites outside of town limits, according to the town’s website.
For questions or more information about these town utility services, including a consumer confidence water report and user rate studies, go to berlinmd.gov/department/water-resources or call 410-641-3845.