GAINESVILLE – On Thursday evening the Hall County Commission will consider a resolution to increase sewer rates for both its commercial and residential users.
The first year of the new rate schedule will bring a 5-percent increase to its customers followed by a 1.65-percent increase for each of the following nine years. The last time sewer rates were adjusted was four years ago, in February 2017.
If approved, the new rate will take effect with the March, 2021, billing cycle. Those bills are sent to customers by the Gainesville Water Resources Department through an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between the city and the county.
The increase in rates comes out of the 2020 Hall County Sewer Master Plan and Rate Study which examined the operation, maintenance and debt requirements for the sewer system projected to the year 2040.
Not everyone living in Hall County uses the county’s sewer services. Many homes have private septic systems and some Hall County residents are connected to sewer entities other than Hall County, such as those offered by Flowery Branch, Gainesville and Lula.
But according to the 2020 Hall County Sewer Master Plan and Rate Study the number of customers using Hall County’s sewer services is projected to grow from 33,000 in 2015 to 54,000 in 2040.
At present the county has two distinct geographic areas receiving sewer service: those in the very-northern portion of the county and along State Route 365, and those in the very-southern portion of the county near Braselton.
Hall County Public Works Director Srikanth Yamala told commissioners during their work session Monday afternoon, “At Thursday’s voting meeting I plan to make a short PowerPoint presentation so that the citizens and viewers can find out a little more information.”
County officials estimate as much as $138-million will be needed over the next two decades for infrastructure investment to meet projected population increases.
Yamala told commissioner, “This does not require a public hearing.” Nonetheless, the commission will take citizen comments regarding the resolution Thursday evening, either in person at the Hall County Government Center, or online during the broadcast of the meeting on the county’s website, beginning at 6:00 p.m.