Sussex Borough n Escalating operating costs may result in higher utility costs for the borough’s water and sewer customers. The Sussex Borough Council passed a tentative 25 percent rate hike for water and sewer customers at its March 31 meeting. Under the proposed plan, water customers who had been paying $100 per quarter for 10,000 gallons of water would end up paying $125 per quarter, according to Councilman Jonathan Rose. Meanwhile, sewer customers would see their quarterly bills rise from $150 to $187.50, Rose added. The proposed rate increases are largely based on increases in wastewater processing fees that the borough has to pay to the Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority (SCMUA), said Sussex Borough Council President Bruce LaBar. Last year, Sussex Borough was charged $477,032 for wastewater processing by SCMUA, not counting monthly overages, said SCMUA Administrator John Hatzelis. The agency estimates that the borough will have to pay $518,166, or $41,134 more than its 2008 bill. The figures don’t include $30,813 in overage charges that Sussex Borough had to pay SCMUA last year for exceptionally high outflows in February and March, said Sussex Borough Clerk Cathy Gleason. She said the borough won’t set the water and sewer rates until early August after the state has determined its own annual budget.