PTC sewer increase to be proposed

At its October 11 meeting, the Peachtree City Water and Sewerage Authority will be discussing a possible rate hike for sewer customers.

WASA General Manager Stephen Hogan said this week that the discussion will include several options and variables, but the system’s revenues have fallen over the past several years. Meanwhile, expenses have kept increasing between 3 and 5 percent each year, outpacing the revenue, Hogan said.

Hogan is expected to present an overview of the authority’s financial picture at the Oct. 11 meeting also. The authority’s fiscal year runs from October through September, and Hogan is hoping the authority will be able to adopt a fee increase in November.

In 2008 WASA adopted 5 percent increases that took affect in October 2008 and December 2009, also in light of declining revenues. Those increases added $3 to the sewer bill of the average residential customer, officials said at the time. Prior to those increases, WASA hadn’t changed its rates for six years.

While WASA has not had any major cost increases, last year the authority had to pull $1.15 million out of reserves to self-fund the backing of its revenue bonds after the surety company’s rating classification was downgraded to a CCC rating, Hogan said.

While that was an unexpected event, the authority was able to do it because former GM Larry Turner left the system in such good financial shape, Hogan said.

WASA does not have any major projects underway at this time, but officials are looking at implementing a master capital asset plan to prevent any system failures in the future, Hogan said.

The authority also is looking at the need to rehabilitate the sewer system in the Wynnmeade subdivision, one of the oldest areas of town. That project has been considered for several years but the authority lacked the revenues to support it, Hogan said.

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