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Friday May 27th, 2016 3:00AM

Flowery Branch approves water and sewage fee increase

By Brian Stewart Reporter
FLOWERY BRANCH - For the first time since 2011, Flowery Branch residents will see an increase in their water and sewage bills.<br /> <br /> The resolution, approved at Thursday night's meeting, calls for a 10% increase in fees.<br /> <br /> Finance Director Jeremy Perry says most residents will only see an increase between $1.41 to $2.56 per month, depending on their water usage.<br /> <br /> "As with any water system, there needs to be a constant increase in rates to override not only operating increases, but also to do capital repairs and maintenance," said Perry.<br /> <br /> He said the majority of their water and sewage customers are residential.<br /> <br /> "What we're trying to do at the same time is tap onto the Cinnamon Cove project, which is a separate sewer system." said Perry.<br /> <br /> He said that by entering into a loan and using some of the revenue generated by the fee increase, down the road the city will gain "a great deal of phosphorous, which then allows us to increase our [water] plant's capacity and take on additional customers in the future."<br /> <br /> The motion was approved unanimously, although Tara Martin was absent from the meeting.<br /> <br /> COUNCIL APPROVES AUDIT<br /> <br /> Also its meeting Thursday night, the council approved an audit from the Georgia Municipal Association.<br /> <br /> GMA will check the books for restaurants that serve distilled spirits, and make sure they aren't under- or over-reporting their sales, according to City Clerk Melissa McCain.<br /> <br /> "If there's a difference, or [the business] is not reporting properly, then GMA will go show them how to report it properly," said McCain.<br /> <br /> If a restaurant is under-reporting, they pay the difference, plus interest; if a restaurant has over-reported (McCain added this is fairly uncommon, but not unheard of), the city will refund their money.<br /> <br /> The last audit was in 2010, and this one only affects businesses that serve distilled spirits "at this point" according to McCain.<br /> <br /> She says these audits happen fairly regularly every three-to-four years.<br /> <br /> In 2010, McCain says they found about $13,000 in unreported sales.<br /> <br /> Since then, three more business have joined the selling pool, bringing the total to nine.
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