Fulton County officials praised county water users Wednesday for their success at conservation — then socked them with a 15 percent rate increase for their effort.
The conservation penalty the County Commission adopted Wednesday 6-0 matches the increase Atlanta utility officials asked to impose earlier this year but which the City Council so far has resisted. The average water/sewer bill should increase nearly $9 per month to a total of about $68 per month, water officials said.
Why raise rates on water? Well, because the conservation has cut revenues:
Utility managers said water use has dropped by as much as 30 percent since last year when Gov. Sonny Perdue asked each county to cut usage by at least 10 percent because of the lingering drought. That has Fulton facing potential default on its bonds, said Angela Parker, public works director.
“We just can’t swallow this reduction in revenues,” Parker said.
She said Fulton one day might roll back the rates if the drought ends and revenues return to pre-drought levels.
This is Fulton county doing this. Apparently the city of Atlanta is trying to do the same thing but has been blocked so far.