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City considering water rate hike
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Water customers in the City of Dawsonville could soon see a slight rate increase.

Council members are considering a proposal presented Monday night by City Manager David Headley that, if approved, would raise average monthly bills between $2.59 and $6.30, depending on water usage.

Headley said the proposed increase, which is in line with a 2012 rate study, would generate $43,000 to $48,000 annually to cover maintenance and operations costs.

"We have several pipes that are old. We're looking for some areas to increase capacity, or the pipes have reached their lifecycle," he said. "We're looking at those main lines that need to be replaced or worked on."

The increase, he said, will allow the city to continue those upgrades.

The city's last water rate increase was 15 percent in 2012, although the study by engineer Ben Turnipseed recommended an annual increase.

"Due to the downturn in the economy, the city has been reluctant to have an increase over the years," Headley said. "Based on our current rates, on the sewer side, we're where we should be. On the water side, being six months into [the budget year], we're about $15,000 under where we should have been, based on that recommendation."

Headley presented the council with three options with increases ranging from 10-18 percent for the city's 1,095 water customers.

"My recommendation was to move to the 18 percent increase," he said. "That puts us right in line with where we should be, based on those years where we didn't have an increase."

The council is expected to vote on the proposal during Monday night's meeting.

If approved, customers would see the increase on their next water bill cycle.

The city council will meet at 5 p.m. Monday at city hall.