Frederick will promote existing programs to help people who fall behind on their water bills, but delaying a planned increase in the city’s water and sewer rates is not likely.

Alderman Roger Wilson had proposed a plan to push back the increase in rates scheduled for July for six months to help city residents who have been laid off or had other financial difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic and gotten behind on their bills.

It became clear during a budget discussion with his colleagues Wednesday that the proposal had little support.

The rate increase adopted by the aldermen in November included a five-year schedule.

The city would lose about $615,000 in revenue if it delayed the rate increase for six months, Director of Budget and Purchasing Katie Barkdoll told Wilson during a virtual meeting of the mayor and aldermen on the city’s proposed budget.

They would lose about $103,000 if they pushed it back 30 days, but it would be hard to tell the fiscal cost without knowing when the city’s state of emergency ends, Barkdoll said when Wilson asked about the implications of delaying the increase that long.

Wilson said he had no problem with the fee structure, but said there should be something the city can do to help residents during the “unforeseen crisis” of the pandemic.

Mayor Michael O’Connor said there will already be a 30-day extension on bills after the state of emergency ends.

The city approved a program within the last year in which customers can choose to round their water bill up to the next dollar, with the extra money going to a fund run by the Frederick Community Action Agency to help residents who are struggling with their bills.

The city also has a program that helps residents who have fallen behind on bills set up a payment program.

Wilson said after the meeting that he was disappointed his colleagues weren’t interested in the proposal.

People will have been at home for two months when the crisis is over, which means water usage will have gone up, he said.

“The least that we can do is be sensitive to that,” he said.

Wilson said he plans to work with O’Connor’s office to get data on water usage, and see what policies they can put in place.

Follow Ryan Marshall on Twitter: @RMarshallFNP.

Ryan Marshall is the transportation and growth and development reporter for the News-Post. He can be reached at

(20) comments

Greg F

Go figure...but don’t think this will be the taxes are poised to increase yet again in Fredco for properties. We already have the highest in the entire nation with crap service in proportion so why raise them even more? Make your voice heard in the upcoming VIRTUAL (so they can ensure little voice of opposition) Town Hall meeting coming May 5th. Getting really tired of excessive taxation and it still takes over 2 years to build a bridge and short road or do anything about 15...or foul tasting water. Get MAD!


I love Frederick. I have lived within the city limits for 25 years (and in the area longer than that). However, I am planning to depart in about two years. I have a townhouse on the perimeter of the city with the postage stamp size backyard. I pay nearly $5,000 annually in property taxes. I am crying "Uncle." It's too expensive to justify living here. I guess all the people from Montgomery County will move here and believe the cost of living to be more affordable and then everyone will be happy.


I moved from Montgomery County ten years ago and am very happy in Frederick. My tax money is well used.


Kudos to Roger Wilson for standing up for the Frederick Consumer of Water. Looking for ways to help people is what their job is and Roger seems to be the only one who is thinking and showing leadership.


I can see a a future Mayor here.


Latest way to estimate a water bill:


We need all new people in office that do not keep on spending money all the time.


my bill each quarter is usually $130-$135. But looking at the bill only $10-$12 of it is water. The rest is all fees.So even conserving about 90% of my bill is going to be fees


Calculation of Water & Sewer Bill

Base Charge: For a .75 inch meter is $39.87/91.25 days equals $0.4369 per day for water and $0.4369 per day for sewer (see Rate Schedule for other meter sizes). Multiply the daily rate times the number of days on your bill for both Water and Sewer.

Consumption Charges

Tier Rate per Thousand

Less than 6,000 $3.72

6,001 to 16,000 $5.41

16,001 to 24,000 $5.72

24,001 to 32,000 $5.97

Greater than 32,000 $6.48

Calculation Example

Consumption volume per tier fluctuates based on the actual number of days in your billing cycle. For example:

A bill with actual number of days equals 95 days and consumption of 20,000 gallons:

Step 1:

6,000 divided by 91.25 days equals 65.7534 per day

65.7534 times 95 days equals 6,247 gallons which gets rounded to the nearest hundredth (6,200) charged using the 1st tier rate

6,200 divided by 1,000 times $3.72 equals $23.06

Step 2:

16,000 minus 6,000 equals 10,000 gallons in 2nd tier for a typical 91.25 day billing.

10,000/91.25 days equals 109.589 per day

109.589 times 95 days equals 10,411 which gets rounded to the nearest hundredth (10,400) gallons allowed to be charged using 2nd tier rate

Original consumption equals 20,000 minus 6,200 (1st Tier) equals 13,800 remaining

10,400 divided by 1,000 times $5.41 equals $56.26

Step 3:

24,000 minus 16,000 equals 8,000 gallons in 3rd tier for a typical 91.25 day billing.

8,000 divided by 91.25 days equals 87.6712 per day

87.6712 times 95 days equals 8,329 which gets rounded to the nearest hundredth (8,300) gallons allowed to be charged using 3rd tier rate

Original consumption 20,000 minus 6,200 (1st tier) minus 10,400 (2nd tier) equals 3,400 consumption remaining.

3,400 divided by 1,000 times $5.72 equals $19.45

Total Water consumption cost equals $23.06 plus 56.26 plus 19.45 equals $98.77.


That was easy. Thanks Gary![unsure]


CheetoBenito - [thumbup][thumbup][beam]


what a crock of crap. Hit the consumer while they are down. Typical of this sad excuse of a town. The only thing they did on this bill was extend the due date by 2 weeks. Great to see the city/county looking out for its residents.


Required maintenance and expansion to meet the expanding population is a primary reason for increasing the fees. If you have an issue with that then you should be promoting 1) lower or no population growth and 2) a greater percentage of the budget being spent on needed maintenance as opposed to new feel good spending.


developers fund the expanding of the developments.


I do not know about other homes, but last year our water use was nearly 200 gallons a day. The discussion informed me that we can get more frequent readings on our water meter. And Flume device indicated that I had a constant flow and it lead to fixing the leaks and reduced use to about 25 gallons a day. More when we bathed the dog. If the water bills go up too much, others may want to check for leaks (plumbers can do this for you) and cut water use. I wonder if this is what the city wants. If so, they might even pay part of the cost of these devices to help us manage our water use. If not, it may be very interesting in the future.


More fees on the already broken backs of City residents. And just what about the exorbitant increases the mayor is requesting in his new budget? 5% Water and Sewer increase and 10% Stormwater Management fee increase. And just when is he going to pay back the $45,000 for the logo debacle? Time to use some thought and cut programs that are desired but absolutely not needed.


He should not only be paying back that $45K, but with interest too.


People wouldn't have "broken backs if they lived well within their means and saved money to meet most any emergency that can be expected (in other words have at least 3 - 6 months resource needs saved and readily available to be converted into cash to pay bills that should be expected). Maybe the government needs to regulate consumer spending (e.g., no vacation spending or having children if you are living paycheck to paycheck or can't afford health care or rent for yourself, etc.). This should be a wake up call for all those who do not think it is important enough to save money (and there are many ways to save money even if you earn minimum wage such as get roommates, etc.).

Greg F

Try doing that with a gig economy and stagnated minimum wages that haven’t budged in over a decade.

People will have been at home for two months when the crisis is over, which means water usage will have gone up, he said.

you know something we dont roger?? i guess we now know when this will be over!

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