Senoia looks at water, sewer rates

The Senoia City Council will hold a public hearing Dec. 10 to review proposed changes in the cost of water and sewer rates. A proposed increase of 10 percent for water and 21 percent for sewer for residential customers, based on average consumption, is designed to make up the difference in system revenue requirements that have suffered during the recession.

The council will look at four proposals for water and sewer rates. The most equitable for all customers, proposal 4 would result in an equivalent increase for residential, commercial and industrial users.

The reason for the rate increase deals with the city’s financing agreements that require operating revenues to be 110 percent of expenditures. The sewer system operated in the red last year, largely due to the ongoing effects of the recession.

For residential water customers, the base rate of up to 1,500 gallons would decrease from the current charge of $14.50 to $13.75 while the current base residential sewer rate of $19 for 1,500 gallons would increase to $20.57. Water rates for residential customers ranging from 1,000-5,000 gallons, with the average customer use being 5,000 gallons, would add $4.40 to the bill compared to the current $4 rate. Sewer rates for those amounts would increase to $4.84 compared to the current $4 rate.

City Administrator Richard Ferry said that proposal would mean an increase of approximately 10 percent for residential water customers over the current rates based on an average use of 5,000 gallons per month and an increase of approximately 21 percent for sewer service.

Rates for commercial and industrial uses would have also a proportionate increase in water and sewer bills for the first 5,000 gallons.

The council will hold a second hearing later in December where the measure could be up for a vote. Both meetings will be held at the municipal building on Howard Road.