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Council approves new structure
Rates take effect for January billing
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Other action

Also during its meeting Monday night, the Dawsonville City Council approved the following:

* A $4,000 budget amendment to give the city's eight employees year-end bonuses.

* About $1,995 in water department write-offs.

* An annual intergovernmental agreement for fire protection.

* Various appointments for 2013.

* An ordinance that creates a revolving loan in the amount of $25,000 available to help revitalize downtown businesses.

* Zoning map amendments that rezone 0.5 acres at 731 Hwy. 9 North to highway business, and nine properties on Elliott Village, Tiger Circle, George's Place and Allen Street to the city's institutional district designation.

-- Michele Hester

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.