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DPU FY18 Proposed Budget Squeaks By Council

on April 19, 2017 - 7:05am

Department of Public Utilities (DPU) Manager Tim Glasco presents his department's budget to County Council during Tuesday's budget hearings. Ultimately, the $71,462,741 proposed budget squeeked by with council's tentative approval. It was passed 4-3. Councilors Chris Chandler, Antonio Maggiore and Council Vice Chair Susan O'Leary opposed the budget while Councilors Rick Reiss, Pete Sheehey, James Chrobocinski and Council Chair David Izraelvitz voted to tentatively approve it. The main points of contention were rate increases which are: an 8 percent increase in sewer, an 8 percent increase in wholesale and retail water rates, and a non-potable rate change from $1.15 to $2.50 per thousand gallons. DPU also proposed a 10 percent reduction in gas. O'Leary said, 'I'm not going to approve these rate increases when they come to me.' O'Leary said she felt DPU should look at other areas and cut expenses rather than initiate rate increases. Maggiore emphasized his support of DPU but also echoed O'Leary's concerns that there were other ways to address issues in the budget that are not on the backs of customers. While he supported the motion, Chrobocinski said he too had an issue with the rate increases and hoped that DPU would look at other options. Some on Council voiced support for the budget. Councilor Pete Sheehey said he felt the rate increases were competitve to neighboring communities' and in some cases, the rates were held back to minimize pain. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/