HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Hiawassee residents should expect to see a rate increase on their June water bills, following full city council approval May 7.
As previously reported, Hiawassee Mayor Liz Ordiales proposed before the council in late March for water rates to more than double over a five-year span. Mayor Ordiales reminded that a rate increase has not occurred in the past six years, adding that water and sewer has been running at a deficit of $159,000, excluding over $3 million in city debt.
Rates are set to increase from $19.27 per month to $24.67 next month. Should the plan proceed, rates are scheduled to rise to $30.09 in 2020, climb to $34.61 in 2021, spike to $38.76 in 2022, and level at $42.25 by 2023. In addition, a monthly, 1,200 gallon consumption allowance will go into effect next month. The proposal will not effect businesses, sewer rates, or North Carolina residents, Ordiales said last week.
Mayor Ordiales previously stated that the City of Hiawassee sought counsel from the University of North Carolina, in conjunction with GEFA, in determining the rate hike, opting to spread the increase over a half decade rather than impact residents in an immediate, full-scale fashion. The mayor added at last week’s work session that the plan may be re-evaluated in 2020, and potentially adjusted according to the lowering of the deficit.
UPDATED: A city council member contacted FYN to notify that the original, five-year plan proposed by Mayor Ordiales is not in effect in the current mandate, and will be reviewed on an annual basis.
Feature Image: Hiawassee Mayor Liz Ordiales at the May 7 session
Information on the water rate study is available below: