GAINESVILLE - As expected, water and sewer rates are going up for city of Gainesville utilities customers. The Gainesville City Council gave unanimous approval to the new fee schedule at its regular meeting Tuesday night.
Mayor Danny Dunagan said council members and city utilities officials considered a number of factors before making their decision to hike rates.
The mayor noted that the city uses a large amount of electricity to power utilities facilities, and Georgia Power has been increasing its rates.
"And our chemical costs to treat the water, the sewer and the drinking water have gone up," said Dunagan. "Plus, we've got some road projects that we've got to relocate the utility lines on."
Dunagan pointed specifically to construction along Clarks Bridge and Friendship Roads.
"I think it's going to cost public utilities around one million dollars to relocate just those lines [along Clarks Bridge]," said Dunagan.
Despite the increase, Dunagan said Gainesville water customers are getting a good value for their dollar.
"We've got a top notch operation. We operate it as efficiently as we can," said Dunagan. "And when you turn that tap on, you know you're getting good water."
Water rates will go up three percent, while sewer rates will rise three-and-a-half percent starting January 1.