(June 5, 2015) The Worcester County Commissioners also discussed the following issues during their most recent regular meeting.
Water fees hike
Four of the 11 sanitary service areas are slated to increase fees, as there were no public objections during a hearing at Tuesday’s meeting of the county commissioners.
Edgewater Acres will see an increase of $2 per EDU of water and $5 per EDU in domestic sewer rates, Mystic Harbour will go from $138 to $148 per EDU in domestic service, Ocean Pines will increase by $5 per EDU and Riddle Farm will increase $10 per EDU of domestic service.
Mystic Harbour, Ocean Pines and Riddle Farm will increase their commercial rates by 5.5 percent from $158 to $528 based on number of EDUs.
Tipping fees unchanged
If the Solid Waste Enterprise fund is accepted as presented at the next meeting of the Worcester County Commissioners, tipping fees will not increase in Worcester County this year.
The pilot “pay as you throw” program that allows residents to buy individual tags for trash rather than paying the flat $100 rate is off to a slow start, according to Jessica Ramsay of the Worcester County Treasurers Office, noting most people prefer to pay the flat rate.
Retiree cost share set
In the ongoing struggle to provide benefits to employees, the commissioners decided to retain the current health insurance system of an 80-20 cost share for new employees upon their retirement.
Since the program won’t apply to employees hired after July 1 until 15 years of service have been completed, the number can change later.
Representatives of the nonprofit Worcester County Giving Other Lives Dignity Inc. presented the commissioners with an update on its services on Tuesday.
The organization helped 1,933 residents with emergency assistance last year such as food, utility assistance, coats and baby or eldercare supplies.
Worcester GOLD operates on donations and grant funding.
New county roads
Since there were no objections voiced to the county taking over Martins Point Drive and Wight Island Court, these roads are expected to be added to the county inventory of roads at the next commissioners meeting.
Loophole to be closed
Hearing no objections to the proposed plan to close a loophole in insurance benefits, which had led at least one employee to lose coverage while awaiting a disability ruling from the state, the commissioners are expected to adopt the change at their next meeting.
An employee applied for state benefits, County Attorney Sonny Bloxom said in early May, and was denied, An appeal followed, but in the interim between the denial and successful appeal, the employee’s job ended, as did that person’s county insurance.
The new process will allow employees to keep their insurance and will be applied retroactively to Aug. 31, 2013.