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PTC keeps sewer veto power

A deal to save an additional $500,000 on the refinancing of bonds for the Peachtree City Water and Sewer Authority has been reached.

At a special called meeting early Friday morning, WASA voted unanimously to keep the same exact language in the bond covenants granting the city council veto power over any potential extension of sewer service outside the city limits.

In return, the city will back the bonds, which allows WASA to save an additional $500,000 over the life of the bonds. The city backing also keeps WASA from having to pony up $1.8 million in a reserve fund that would have been necessary to create had the city not agreed to back the bonds.

Without the city’s backing, WASA stood to save $1.3 million in total; that figure will rise to $1.8 million with the city’s assistance.

At the September WASA meeting, Chairman Mike Harman argued that the system would have been better off financially if the city council had allowed it to expand service into Senoia and a limited area of east Coweta County severa years ago. At the time, Harman said that while the current council members didn’t make those decisions, he felt it best for WASA’s ratepayers for WASA to have complete control over any expansion beyond the city limits.

But by the Sept. 18 council meeting, there were signs WASA might change its tune, as Harman addressed council with a potential offer to keep the council’s veto power intact if the city would back the proposed refinancing.

There are no plans or proposals afoot to provide service beyond the city limits, according to both Harman and WASA General Manager Stephen Hogan.

“Our sole intention is to try and save rate payers some money, because everybody knows interest rates are so favorable right now,” Harman told council at its Sept. 18 meeting. “It’s a significant cost savings, so that’s the motivation.”

WASA consists of a five-member autonomous board that operates the city’s sewer system. Each of the five members are appointed to four-year terms by the city council.

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