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City considering rate increase

Water, sewer fees could be adjusted

POSTED: October 3, 2012 4:00 a.m.

Dawsonville water and sewer customers could see a slight rate increase in the coming months.

According to a study presented Monday night by engineer Ben Turnipseed, the city "needs to adjust water and sewer rates" to "meet revenue needs."

"The existing rate structure ... does not cover the cost of service," he said, citing changes in the economy, particularly fewer tap fees from construction that previously had helped support costs.

Mayor James Grogan said the city trails other municipal utility providers by not addressing water and sewer rates on an annual basis.

"We've actually gotten behind in the last four to five years," he said.

"We fell behind when everybody else might have been moving up. We just stayed where we were at. That's the reason for doing this at this time."

The city's last sewer rate increase was in 2006. For water, it was in 2008.

Turnipseed recommended at least a 15 percent increase, which would mean water rates for residential customers using less than 1,500 gallons each month would go from about $15 to $17.25 per month.

The rate for customers averaging 1,500 to 5,000 gallons monthly would increase from nearly $21 to about $24.50.

He suggested a similar rate increase for sewer services.

The proposed increase would generate a projected $239,562 in revenue annually.

The council took no action on the matter, but plans to revisit the issue in the coming months.

Grogan also suggested staff review the city's bond payments to see if savings could be achieved by refinancing.

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