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Authority offering residential incentive
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On the heels of a commercial development incentive, the Etowah Water and Sewer Authority wants to also encourage residential growth.

The authority's board of directors recently voted to wave tap and meter fees for residential development during the 2012 calendar year.

The incentive will reduce costs associated with a typical ¾-inch residential meter from $3,330 to $2,480.

In a news release, officials noted the connection between commercial and residential growth, adding that businesses "often look at ‘rooftop counts' to support their decision to open."

"We believe this incentive will help the [local] development authority, the chamber of commerce and others to attract new businesses and residences to Dawson County," said Brooke Anderson, the authority's general manager.

"This incentive will also help the local homebuilders. I think there are a lot of people that live in Dawson County that work in homebuilding, construction and residential."

Anderson said other beneficiaries of the program could include "existing residences with poor water quality wells or wells going dry."

The lone condition for the incentive is that the water meter must be bought prior to Dec. 31.

In addition to the incentive, the authority is introducing the "refer a friend" program. A current customer can receive a $50 gift card for referring someone to buy a water meter from the authority.

"This will allow our customers to become our best advocates and encourage development within Dawson County," Anderson said.