Water bills going up

Tue, 02/10/2009 - 4:32pm
By: John Munford

10% this year ... 5% in 2010; will cover Lake McIntosh completion

Starting next month Fayette County water customers will see a 10 percent increase on their bills, thanks to a unanimous vote of the County Commission.

The increase will amount to about $3 a month on the average residential water bill, officials said.

The commission also signed off on an additional 5 percent increase in water charges starting January 2010.

The increases are needed to pay for financing of $15 million needed to complete the Lake McIntosh reservoir, said Water System Director Tony Parrott. The county hasn’t raised its water rates since 1991 with the exception of a state-mandated “conservation” rate change a few years ago, he added.

Water customers will get a notice about the rate increase in their next bill, Parrott said. The increase won’t actually be charged on those customers until the following month, he added.

Commission Chairman Jack Smith asked Parrott if the increase was enough to cover the bonded indebtedness created for the new reservoir. Parrott replied he was “comfortable” that it would be enough.

The average residential water bill ranges from $29 to $31 currently. The increase will drive that range to $31.90 to $34.10.

Under the current rate structure, the base rate for a typical home is $16 for the first 2,000 gallons and $2.80 for each additional 1,000 gallons used in a month. The proposed increase for 2009 would hike that to $17.60 per 2,000 gallons and $3.08 for each additional thousand gallons.

In 2010 the minimum rate would increase to $18.48 for the first 2,000 gallons and $3.23 for each additional thousand gallons.

Peachtree City residents also pay for sewer service on their water bill; the minimum monthly sewer charge is $20, but sewer fees will not be affected by the proposed water bill increases.

Peachtree City residents are served by the Fayette County Water System, which is operated by the county. The city’s sewer system is operated by the Peachtree City Water and Sewerage Authority, an entity separate from the city.

Fayetteville has its own water and sewer systems separate from the county and handles its own billing.

The 10 and 5 percent water bill increases will also apply to residences and businesses that have larger meters which are under different rate structures, according to county staff.

The increase would also apply to water bought wholesale by the city of Fayetteville for its water system. Fayette County’s water system serves the unincorporated county as well as Peachtree City, Tyrone, Brooks and Woolsey.

Planned since the 1970s, the Lake McIntosh reservoir will be located on the Coweta-Fayette County line by damming up Line Creek.

The property will be bordered by the Planterra Ridge subdivision and golf course, part of the city’s industrial park and Falcon Field airport.

Pathway Communities has also proposed that a 37-acre site directly next to the lake be rezoned from industrial to residential use to accommodate an upscale subdivision and events center.

Clearing of the lake site is nearly completed and county officials are working through the regulatory process at the federal and state level in hopes of starting construction by this summer.

The county needs a dam construction permit from the state and other wetland mitigation issues to work out at the federal level, among other tasks to prepare for construction.

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Submitted by BloodBike on Wed, 02/11/2009 - 9:52am.

Why is it that when we conserve water we get hit and when we don't conserve we get hit? I hate this!

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Tue, 02/10/2009 - 7:02pm.

Yep, there you have it. The state says there's a drought and we have to cut back our water usage and heaven forbid if you wash a car or use water "foolishly". But we sure can allow as many as possible to stick a straw in "our" water resources. Perhaps I'm a slow cyclist but, I'm beginning to believe that this water shortage is nothing more than a crock.

...to accommodate an upscale subdivision...

In other words it's a place where the elite meet in their bare feet.

Oh and BTW, I still want public access to this new facility that I'm paying for.
Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

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