Council hears utility bill complaints

Staff Writer
NORTH BALTIMORE — North Baltimore residents expressed frustration Tuesday about increases in water and sewer bills, even for those who are using less water.
Residents had braced for higher bills in the wake of a recent hike in sewer rates, but some said they were “shocked” after opening their bills.
“This is not what we expected,” one woman told Village Council.
The village has raised the minimum sewer rates by $5.25 each month to help pay for the $6.3 million storm/sanitary sewer separation project in the northern portion of North Baltimore. Sewer rates also were adjusted for customers who use more than 2,000 gallons of water a month.
Some residents on Tuesday said their bills increased, even though they are using less water.
“It’s getting expensive to live in this town,” one man maintained.
Village officials said they will try to find an answer to how the bills were calculated.
“Something’s not correct,” Councilwoman Leslee Thompson. “I’m still waiting for answers.”
Mayor Mike Julien said, “We will do our best to find an answer.”
Some of the dozen or so residents who attended the session also complained about the condition of streets during the recent storm sewer/sanitary sewer separation project.
Rough roads apparently were blamed for a suspension problem on a village police cruiser, and other residents have had to replace tires.
Also Tuesday, North Baltimore Council hired Will Matthes as the interim, part-time emergency medical service chief. He will hold that job for the rest of this year.
Matthes replaces Eric Larson, who briefly held the post before accepting a paramedic job in Louisiana.
Separately, council will look for ideas to fund improvements at the village park via grants from the Wood County Park District.
Schaadt: 419-427-8414
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