Fulton County residents will soon see if their water and sewer bills will increase by 5% in each of the next three years.
The new rates would be based on a study which calls for improving modifications to water connection fees for north Fulton, and would help pay for upgrades to the county’s Big Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Roswell.
“I was not aware of these water and sewer rate increases over the next three years. It is news to me and I am sure it is news to the mayors of the cities in my district,” said District 6 Fulton Commissioner Joe Carn, who took office following an Oct. 15 special runoff election. “I hope this study is complete enough, and I want to be very much involved to make sure that all the needs of our mayors and their municipalities across the county, north and south, are being met and make sure we are not missing anything.”
At its Nov. 20 recess meeting at Assembly Hall in downtown Atlanta, the Fulton Board of Commissioners voted 7-0 to defer until its Dec. 4 meeting a resolution to approve the water/sewer rate hikes. This resolution, which was also deferred at the board’s Nov. 6 meeting because of mayors’ concerns, was held again so the mayors of all county municipalities could be briefed, have their questions about the study answered and their issues addressed.
If approved by the commission at its next meeting, these fee increases would become effective Jan. 1.
Carn, who was elected to occupy the seat of Commissioner Emma Darnell, who died in May, wants to make sure that all municipalities in north and south county are treated with parity.
“If Fulton residents are going from septic to sewer (systems), we want to know what needs to be put into the ground, and I hope this study is comprehensive enough that it includes all municipalities in Fulton County,” Carn said.
He also questioned the matter in which the study was conducted, especially since it was supposed to have input from all mayors in the county.
“To say this study was done fairly and in a comprehensive manner, I don’t see how that could be. None of the mayors in south county were consulted, and that is why this resolution is being held until Dec. 4,” Carn said.
District 3 Commissioner Lee Morris disagreed with Carn, saying the board has already approved major water/sewer system improvements to south Fulton for current and future use.
“Joe’s issue seems to be he doesn’t think the capital improvement plan contains projected growth in South Fulton, but it does,” Morris said.
“The last time the capital improvement plan was updated, the capacity in south Fulton was way beyond anything that will be needed for a long time.”