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Council approves new structure

Rates take effect for January billing

POSTED: December 5, 2012 4:00 a.m.

Dawsonville water and sewer customers will see higher bills come January.

In a 4-0 vote, council members on Monday approved a nearly 15 percent increase intended to offset declining revenue due to the struggling economy.

City officials cited fewer tap fees from construction that previously had helped support costs.

With the new rate structure, residential customers using less than 1,500 gallons each month would go from about $15 to $17.25 per month.

For customers averaging 1,500 to 5,000 gallons monthly, the rate would rise to about $24.50 from $21.

The new monthly sewer rates begin at $20 for residential customers.

Councilman Chris Gaines said the "new rates will be realized on January bills."

The city is offering a 15 percent discount to seniors 65 and older based on income.

City Engineer Ben Turnipseed proposed the changes in October after conducting a study that showed the current rates cannot "cover the cost of service."

The move is projected to generate $239,562 annually.

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

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