DOVER (WJER) - About 300 sewer customers just outside Dover city limits could see their bills jump from $39 a month to $69 a month when the city takes over their accounts from the county.
Dover Law Director Doug O’Meara says the county had been under-charging the customers for many years while they were using Dover’s wastewater system. He says they pay $39 a month while city customers pay $55 a month.
“The last 24 years where there was an underreporting in the census and therefore the people who were on the system through the county weren’t billed the amount for either the capital improvement cost, which was about $25,000 per year divided by the number of customers, or the operation and maintenance, which turned out to be a very similar figure,” he explains.
O’Meara feels the increase is a reasonable proposal to recoup some of the lost revenue and pay for future repairs. But Parral Mayor Crystal DiGenova, whose residents will see the rate hike, says they’re not happy because many of her constituents are older and on fixed incomes.
“They’re a little angered. You’re talking a $30 a month jump. It’s like a 75 percent jump in utility, so it’s upsetting,” she says.
O’Meara says Dover will take over the accounts in October. Dover Council President Shane Gunnoe says they are working on a fair solution and will have legislation prepared for a future meeting.