Brunswick City Council: Water, Sidewalks, and Budgets.

Brunswick Mayor and Council had their monthly meeting last night, with some notable changes for Brunswick residents.

Water rates will be increasing about 4.2%, mostly as a result of increasing the minimum fees that residents are charged. Previously, the lowest bill for water, sewer, and trash was $132.50, which will be increased to $138 for each household. While utility bills are going up, property taxes are going down to $0.43 per $100 instead of the constant yield rate of $0.44 per $100. Let this be a lesson to County Executive Jan Gardner and the Democrats on County Council, this is what actual tax decreases look like.

There will also be an increase in sidewalk construction. The City has received $92,000 in grants, matched by $46,000 in city funding, to install sidewalks under the Safe Schools program. The budget also included $20,000 in funding for a 0% interest loan for residents to install or repair their sidewalks, along with an offer from the city to demolish and haul away any debris as a result of sidewalk construction. For perspective, demolition and haul-away it about 50% of the cost of construction.

As a result of $158,000 not being enough funding, Councilman Harry Lashley voted against the budget, then described his sidewalk proposal. This involved a 10 year plan which mandates that all homeowners pay for 33% of construction costs, the forces them to pay the full costs if construction is not completed after 10 years. Lashley’s plan also includes a revival of the sidewalk mandate that former Mayor Karin Tome introduced last year, prior to her electoral defeat.

John Gerstner, the Director of Public Works, was on hand with video (as always) and statistics concerning INI, or rainwater intrusion into the City sewer system. Recently the city installed flow meters inside of manholes and recorded the amount of water coming into the system. Manholes by the MARC train station recorded a 130% increase in sewer flow during rainy days and notable increases in the following days. This large inflow of water in the sewer system increases resident costs on their water bills.

Council also approved Pleasant’s plan to build another round-about in Brunswick Crossing, begrudgingly approved unanimously.

Mayor Snoots also had a stack of code complaints with him, approximately 50. He stated that these property owners were going to be cited for non-compliance in the next few days.

A̶l̶̶̶e̶̶̶x̶̶̶ ̶̶̶J̶̶̶o̶̶̶n̶̶̶e̶̶̶s̶̶̶ ̶̶̶c̶̶̶a̶̶̶m̶̶̶e̶̶̶ ̶̶̶t̶̶̶o̶̶̶ ̶̶̶C̶̶̶o̶̶̶u̶̶̶n̶̶̶c̶̶̶i̶̶̶l̶̶̶ ̶̶̶m̶̶̶e̶̶̶e̶̶̶t̶̶̶i̶̶̶n̶̶̶g̶̶̶ ̶̶̶f̶̶̶o̶̶̶r̶̶̶ ̶̶̶p̶̶̶u̶̶̶b̶̶̶l̶̶̶i̶̶̶c̶̶̶ ̶̶̶c̶̶̶o̶̶̶m̶̶̶m̶̶̶e̶̶̶n̶̶̶t̶̶̶,̶̶̶ ̶̶̶t̶̶̶o̶̶̶ ̶̶̶c̶̶̶o̶̶̶m̶̶̶p̶̶̶l̶̶̶a̶̶̶i̶̶̶n̶̶̶ ̶̶̶a̶̶̶b̶̶̶o̶̶̶u̶̶̶t̶̶̶ ̶̶̶t̶̶̶h̶̶̶e̶̶̶ ̶̶̶c̶̶̶i̶̶̶t̶̶̶y̶̶̶ ̶̶̶c̶̶̶o̶̶̶n̶̶̶t̶̶̶a̶̶̶m̶̶̶i̶̶̶n̶̶̶a̶̶̶t̶̶̶i̶̶̶n̶̶̶g̶̶̶ ̶̶̶t̶̶̶h̶̶̶e̶̶̶ ̶̶̶l̶̶̶o̶̶̶c̶̶̶a̶̶̶l̶̶̶ ̶̶̶w̶̶̶a̶̶̶t̶̶̶e̶̶̶r̶̶̶ ̶̶̶s̶̶̶u̶̶̶p̶̶̶p̶̶̶l̶̶̶y̶̶̶ ̶̶̶w̶̶̶i̶̶̶t̶̶̶h̶̶̶ ̶̶̶C̶̶̶I̶̶̶A̶̶̶-̶̶̶s̶̶̶u̶̶̶p̶̶̶p̶̶̶l̶̶̶i̶̶̶e̶̶̶d̶̶̶ ̶̶̶m̶̶̶i̶̶̶n̶̶̶d̶̶̶ ̶̶̶c̶̶̶o̶̶̶n̶̶̶t̶̶̶r̶̶̶o̶̶̶l̶̶̶ ̶̶̶c̶̶̶h̶̶̶e̶̶̶m̶̶̶i̶̶̶c̶̶̶a̶̶̶l̶̶̶s̶̶̶.̶̶̶ Ginger Cayo, former candidate for Brunswick City Council, was there to complain about water quality….again. I will not subject you to her mindless drivel, but I will show you the water quality reports for Brunswick.

Since most people are not biochemists or water engineers, let’s put these numbers in perspective. The MCL, or maximum contamination level, is set by State and Federal mandates.

As you can see, the MCL represents the level of contaminants in water which create a 1 out of 1,000,000 chance of having negative health effects while drinking 2 liters of water per day. All water in Brunswick is well below the MCL and has never recorded above MCL for any contaminant. Turbidity, or the number of particulates in the water, does not have a MCL. However the standard in the United States is 1 NTU and 5 NTU in Europe. Brunswick’s level is 0.2.

Thor At Four, airing every Wednesday from 4 to 6 on AM 1450 WTHU.

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