Proposal on table could increase water, sewage bills in city of - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Proposal on table could increase water, sewage bills in city of Savannah

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) -

We're learning more about a proposal on the table that could bring the first increase in water and sewer services in Savannah since 2012. This comes as the city still works to straighten out a water bill and collection issue.

The proposed rate adjustments, if approved, would be part of long-term increases meant to fund a capital plan for the city. City leaders heard about the rate strategy at Thursday's budget retreat session, meant to be small rate adjustments instead of large, haphazard increases, according to the presentation.

So, how much are we talking? According to numbers given to council, the proposed rate adjustment would increase the average user's bill by 15 cents, monthly. This is the first increase in monthly water and sewer rates in Savannah in about five years.

Over the next five years, again if this proposal is adopted, you would see the average rate increase to $1.95 a month.  City leaders say factors like having to use more expensive surface water because of groundwater restrictions, and more stringent sewage treatment and air pollution requirements are all affecting water and sewer utility rates. This increase is all part of a bigger plan to level out the budget.

"There's not much flexibility in what we do. We have to deliver a balanced budget by the end of next month, and so the plan is put forward. It'll give us the opportunity to do that. Next year, we'll have the opportunity to think more strategically, to plan more globally, and that should affect our budget product for next year," said Alderman Van Johnson. 

Again, this is just a proposal that still has to be discussed and voted on in upcoming council meetings. We'll be sure to keep you updated.

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