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PTC’s new sewer fees: 63% more than F’ville

REVISED 10-19-10 — WASA members not answerable to council or voters; for PTC residents, sewer now costs more than water

The drastic rate increases in sewer service approved last week by the Peachtree City Water and Sewer Authority have caught the attention of the City Council.

The increases, which council has no control over, will be discussed by council at its regular meeting Thursday. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

WASA voted 4-1 Oct. 11 to enact the new rate increases starting Dec. 1 that will add $20 and upwards per month to the lion’s share of most Peachtree City residents’ sewer bills. For most residents, this factors out to an increase of between 73 and 123 percent depending on how much water is used per month.

The new rate increase includes a minimum $26 “base” bill on top of a $4.65 charge for each 1,000 gallons of water used, down from the $4.83 per 1,000 gallons currently charged.

Non-residential customers will also face a rate increase Dec. 1, paying the new $26 base fee and with a per 1,000 gallons increase from $5.35 to $6.15.

That compares with a minimum water service fee of $18.48 for the first two thousand gallons.

The Fayette County Water System, which supplies Peachtree City customers with water and also bills customers on behalf of WASA, charges $3.23 a thousand gallons after the base water charge.

The bottom line is that Peachtree City customers will be paying more for their sewer service than for their water service.

In comparison, Fayetteville charges a base rate of $15.95 a month for sewer service for the first two thousand gallons and $2.85 per thousand gallons after that for residents.

That’s a 63 percent differential charged to Peachtree City residents versus Fayetteville residents for sewer service.

WASA officials said the move was necessary to be able to pay its annual $3.24 million in debt service, as revenues have fallen dramatically over the past several years thanks to lower water usage and what has been practically a full halt on new development projects in Peachtree City.

Also, WASA had been paying the debt service from its reserve funds over the past several years, but those reserves are down to about $1 million and should not be depleted further, said WASA General Manager Stephen Hogan.

The new $26 base, or minimum, charge will cover the entire debt service payment, which means those funds won’t be tied to the fluctuating water usage figures, Hogan said.

Peachtree City Councilman Eric Imker attended the rate hike meeting and said he was shocked at the amount of increases that were being enacted by the authority.

After the meeting, Imker noted that compared to the city’s recent property tax increase, WASA’s hike was a stunning figure.

Imker also asked the authority to withdraw $71,000 in cost of living and merit raises for WASA’s 26 employees, but several motions to do so failed, and the budget was approved with the increases intact.

Here’s how the rate increase breaks down based on the majority of usage by single-family homes that use:

• 1,000 gallons will pay $10.65 more a month, a 53 percent increase;

• 2,000 gallons will pay $15.30 more a month, a 76 percent increase;

• 3,000 gallons will pay $19.95 more a month, a 100 percent increase;

• 4,000 gallons will pay $24.60 more a month, a 123 percent increase;

• 5,000 gallons will pay $25.10 more a month, a 103 percent increase;

• 6,000 gallons will pay $24.92 more a month, an 86 percent increase ; and

• 7,000 gallons will pay $24.74 more a month, a 73 percent increase.

The increases also take affect on residential customers who use more. The authority serves 9,966 residential customers.

The rate increase was approved on a 4-1 vote with authority member Phil Mahler voting against. Voting in favor were authority members Mike Harman, Jeffrey Prellberg, Tim Meredith and Chairman Wade Williams.

Other than appointing members to the five-person WASA board, the only power council exerts over the authority is when it comes to requests to extend sewer outside of the city limits. Council can veto any such request and most recently did so several years ago when the city of Senoia asked for 500,000 gallons a day of sewer service.

At the time, Senoia was to pay a one-time $3 million fee and an additional $50,000 a month for the service.

The proposal was turned down based on a fear it would “enable” additional growth in Senoia.

When the Peachtree City Council turned it down, Senoia decided to build its own sewer plant and now has four times the capacity it would have had via WASA.

WASA was created via local legislation at the request of the council in the late 1990s with the stated reason of insulating sewer system decisions from local politics.

Comments

raising taxes, or pay raises for goverment employees are all the wrong thing to do. Goverment should be run as small and efficient as possible, with balanced budgets. If the working man can not spend more than he takes in then why should government be any different? Many people are hurting and we seem to have elected officals who don't seem to care. The poor planing excuse is getting old. Reminds me of an old axiom: Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine. Or maybe this one fits better: Politicians are like old diapers, both should be changed often ....for the same reason. -GP

into oblivion. If we conserve water, our taxes get doubled because not enough money coming in , if we use excessive water we are penalized. It is like the Chinese water torture, one drip at a time. Look at your phone bill and there is every possible tax or charge (and a charge is still a tax by another name)you can think of and some you would never think of--same with electric, gas and water bills. Each of these are presented as just a little "tax" but when you add them all up it starts to smother you to death. Something has to give. WASA was wrong to do this and should rescind it. I just want to live in the community I chose without being taxed so much that I can no longer afford to live here. Time to re-group and use the God-given brains we were all given to figure out how to save money without always taxing, taxing, taxing.

Mike King's picture

....Is wasting time on issues they have no control over. The decision has been made by a 4-1 vote by WASA, and all the Mayor and Council can do about it is bitch and whine. The mayor will likely proclaim that he opposed sewer expansion to keep Peachtree City unique, while costing most of us that twenty bucks a month, and sadly he has yet to realize that his city population continues to shrink.

But on a bright side, they now require us to leash our dogs as our police department checks fishing licenses all controlled by several 'command' Expeditions of our Fire Department. That is until, Chief Skip gets his honor to approve the traffic boat fleet for Lake Peachtree.

This has all the makings of a movie that could rival Caddyshack.

“while costing most of us that twenty bucks a month, and sadly he has yet to realize that his city population continues to shrink.”

What exactly did you attempt to convey by that statement?

Mayor Haddix has freely admitted that he and council have no control over WASA, yet you try and criticize him for it.

What are you trying to do to stop/oppose the new spending by the WASA? Nothing as usual I would imagine.

Did losing your election bid make you that bitter that you can only bitch at those who won?

When, if ever, are you going to propose something useful?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that you promised your wife that you would never again seek public office. We’re all grateful.

Have you ever in your life attempted to contribute a positive suggestion to a difficult situation?

Do us all a favor and move to your farm A.S.A.P.

In other words, don’t go away angry, just go away.

I don't think "bad" got your thinking!
Would the expansion of the sewer into other places have saved us a raise?
Wouldn't we have owed a ton to pipe it in? (WASA that is!) Which means more user costs.
It seems that a mile of sewer costs more than a mile of Interstate!
First rule of plumbing: crap runs downhill.

blazing2006's picture

Mike, you are and have been 100 percent correct on this issue. The previous council was told this day would come if they chose to turn down the Senioa deal. Why don't more of you making stupid, uninformed comments on here get the truth first.
If someone is going to build right up to your property line and you are given an opportunity to reap some financial benefit from it, you do it!
I understand Haddix logic BUT it is still flawed logic, plain and simple. Now they will waste time discussing an issue they can do nothing about. Imagine that.

Why does Peachtree City have a water authority? When was it created? It seems a little crazy that officials that are not elected can tax or raise fees, give raises or any other damn thing and niether the people or elected officials can do a thing about it. This increase would have been interesting info at budget time.

The people were asked to conserve water and they did. Did WASA cut staff to conserve costs of operation. I saw Mr. Hogan on the news last night. He seemed quite arrogant. This whole thing seems out of some science fiction movie.

I notified the Governor as to the gouging of the people in this city after being told we had to conserve on water and we're now going to have to pay for being responsible citizens. With any hope he can look into this issues and help us out. I urge others to do the same.

Atlas Shrugged hasn't been made into a movie yet. How about Angelia Jolie as Dagny Taggart? Maybe Daddy Jon could convince her to play the part. -GP

MajorMike's picture

Who's John Galt? I have the answer to that time honored question taped to the bottom rim of my office monitor.

Angelia Jolie as Dagny Taggart? Perhaps, but Lee Remick would have been ideal for that part back in the day that the Fountainhead was on the silver screen.

I think you mean "Atlas Shrugged," don't you?

MajorMike's picture

Atlas Shrugged is only now being made into a movie. John Galt is the central character in the book.

The Fountainhead, released in 1949, starred Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal.

The only other Ayn Rand work that was made into a movie was "We the Living". The book is said to be the closest thing to an autobiography Ayn Rand ever did.

MajorMike's picture

Indeed!!

You do know she was intellectual elitest..right? Her work is full of disdain for the common man, public opinion & religion.

If you get thru all this on the Costitution pay attention to Jefferson's words.

http://www.newsweek.com/2010/10/17/how-tea-partiers-get-the-constitution...

Observerofu's picture

at least according to Newsweek.

They have ceased being an semi-unbiased source of information and have become a propaganda arm of the DNC.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

I thought this quote in the Newsweek article summed you up rather succinctly:

[quote]The Tea Partiers belong to a different tradition—a tradition of divisive fundamentalism. Like other fundamentalists, they seek refuge from the complexity and confusion of modern life in the comforting embrace of an authoritarian scripture and the imagined past it supposedly represents. Like other fundamentalists, they see in their good book only what they want to see: confirmation of their preexisting beliefs. Like other fundamentalists, they don’t sweat the details, and they ignore all ambiguities. And like other fundamentalists, they make enemies or evildoers of those who disagree with their doctrine.[/quote]

More articles by the writer of that article - Andrew Romano:

http://newsbusters.org/people/andrew-romano

<a href="http://newsbusters.org/people/andrew-romano">Articles by A. Romano</a>

To show how completely irrelevant this "guy" is, he wrote an earlier article this year entitled "Obama 'Too Reasonable' to Pass Health Care"

This guy is nothing but a typical sissy blowhard liberal who decries everything that isn't Liberal. He's got his nose so far up Obama's arse that he can't see. This idiot, like Krispy, cannot be taken seriously.

Observerofu's picture

his relevance such as it was is waning at best.

His blog based "facts" are moronic and sophomoric. The false premise of his "arguments" is laughable.

Yeah that sums up bacon. Those trans-fats has clogged up those synapses what few are left anyway that from a "Christian Predators" opinion after all.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

irrelevant, as most of the rest of main street media has become, they just don't know it yet but ratings and sales are letting them know. Exactly what is a teabagger? I am unfamiliar with that term, I must have been too busy sticking to God and guns. -GP

Here's an even more trenchant look at the disconnect between the Randroids and the Teahadists: <a href="http://is.gd/g8ky6">LINK</a>

I've noticed something about the changing face of the so-called Tea Party over the past 6 months or so...back in the spring it seemed that the vast majority of the Tea folks were primarily concerned about economic issues.

As the tea party has grown, I've seen much less emphasis on economic issues and a growing emphasis on big-government social conservative issues (bedroom snooping, denigrating homosexuals, the usual things). This was especially true in Utah, where Bennett (who had a sterling record of fiscal conservatism) was trounced by a big-government social conservative who wanted the government to "save babbies".

Leadership abhors a vacuum, so I'm beginning to believe that those social conservatives who were largely trounced in the last election have positioned themselves as an opportunistic infection of the tea party movement...not unlike their takeover of the Republican party circa 1984-1994.

Observerofu's picture

explains a great deal about your personality. To lump everyday Moms and Dads with the Jihadist out to kill America is proof of a very disturbed personality.

November 2nd will show just what our issues are and just how well they are received by most of America.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

From the Urban Dictionary:
<strong>Teahadist</strong>
1)A combination of Teabagger and Jihadist, a Teahadist is a domestic terrorist masquerading as a "patriot" in the US. The Teabagger feels that the only way to uphold truth, justice and the Constitution is to violently attack and threaten those who happen to disagree with said Teabagger's views. Phrases such as "defend the Constitution", and "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants" are often heard from Teahadists, although how much they actually understand what those mean is in debate.

2)An agitated racist who masks their racism with opposition to progressive governmental policy and believes that political disturbances and threats/delivery of domestic terrorism is an appropriate approach to achieving political change.

And just for fun...
<strong>tea baggage</strong>
Carrying around the burden of being white, privileged, and wealthy while assuming that somehow means your oppressed.

<a href="http://thinkprogress.org/2010/03/25/violence-tea-party/">...and lets not forget the Teahadist who promised 'one thousand little Wacos'....of course, that was an isolated incident. Isolated incident number 174493, to be exact...</a>

Observerofu's picture

Socialist, Marxist and Anarchist.

You like to use the Tea Party as a poster child for racism. Show me the Klan marching with us. You can't. We call you guys Socialist and WE CAN SHOW YOU THEM.

http://www.cpusa.org/nyt-liberal-groups-rally-at-lincoln-memorial-in-was...

So bacon whose argument is stronger. Your BLOG based "Facts" are ludicris and ridiculous at best. You want to call the tea party terrorist but yet have nothing but anecdotal rhetoric.

I can give you evidence from the Communist Party USA own website. I have shown you pictures of Progressives and Socialist walking are in arm.

Your urban dictionary notwithstanding is not a recognized source of info but you however are not either. So I guess it fits this is where you would go to justify you lack of an argument.

Go back to claiming you are a Christian while lying, wishing harm on others family and defending killing babies.

Go ahead and keep defending Iran, the terrorist and anyone that hates America. You and your kind will be irrelevant soon.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

carbonunit52's picture

how in the world the PTC WASA can provide this service so cheaply? To provide potable water so that we can urinate and defecate in it, wash our dirty bodies and our dirty clothes in it, then pipe it away and treat it so we don't have cholera and such like plagues around, at such a cost that it would be cheap at twice the price just boggles my little mind. Oh, and septic systems work oh so well in red clay, it is no wonder neighbors want each other on the sewer.

Surely you jest or have never lived anywhere where the water and sewage rates were reasonable.

Doing a little research has yielded some interesting results. The actual vote to turn down the Senoia request was taken June 2006. This would have been Logsdon/Boone/Kourajian/Plunkett/Rutherford. Many warnings from WASA were ultimately ignored. It looks to me as if Mayor Logsdon favored the proposal, but sided with the will of the council when it became clear they were going to deny the proposal.

This article I found in the citizen archives outlines the comments made the evening of the vote. Ultimately, the council denied the request. I'm sure they all wish they had it to do over again.

http://archive.thecitizen.com/node/7412

Interesting read.

David Downing

I suggests to any person who is outraged by this hike go to the Peachtree City web page, type in WASA and take note of the names of the people on the council, then when they use YOUR services charge them an additional 123% to cover your loss of revenue. We already pay far too much for sewage here, and this is just too much, over $100.00 in water a sewage a month. When the city charges so much for a basic necessity the people SHOULD become outraged!

These Conserves operating Fayette County are making it hard on us old folks with no income.

Sewer and water will now be $1200 per year if I carefully use them.
Phone, TV, and Internet $2000
County taxes $2000
Sales taxes $1400
Rain that falls on me $ 50
Golf cart $ 30
Car $ 200
Costs of property upkeep $3000 (ordinances)
Occasional fine $ 300

Total $8980 (about what I get from SS!)

Then:
Utilities $3800 (includes Water and sewer also)
Insurance to bury us (2) $4000 (goes up at 70)
Insurance on home $ 800
Rest of car costs $2000
Replace worn out stuff $1000
Lawn upkeep $1500
Health costs over Ins. $4000
Food $6000
Clothing $ 600
Personal stuff (2) $ 450
Vacation $ 75 Night @ cheap hotel.
Contingency $ 500

Total (Other $24,725

Total expenses $33,705

Notice no payments or Interest or house payments, donations, or College fees or investments or......

Shows We need in addition to $8980 the county wants, that savings must be
25 times the other expenses ($24,725)X 25 = ($618,800 @ 4% paying interest). (4% not currently available and the market and 101Ks are in the dumper).

And you can't accuse me of living high! $33,705

Yes any added charges for the budget hurt us.
Should, and do you want, us to head to the Ghetto and not pay any bills?

I am guessing you are attacking the author because you can’t dispute the premise and facts. It seems this "groundswell" tends to forget that it is not their document alone but also mine.

Stick to the Constitution!!! Show me in the Constitution where the Federal Reserve controls our money? Show me Czars giving the executive branch excess power? Show me how to use the EPA to shove thru Climate Control and Cap and Trade? Show me how the Commerce Clause allows goverment to force someone to buy health insurance? None of these are in "our" Constitution, however I can show you where all rights not SPECIFICALLY mentioned in the Constitution are reserved for the states. -GP

Since you appear to be a Constitutional scholar, would you also agree that we need to repeal Social Security and Medicare and do away with the Veterans Administration?

Yes he would! (and most every thing else in it).
Georgia would handle those things (by ignoring them).

If that happened, then he would want Fayette County to do it instead of GA.

If that happened, then he would want vigilantes and cities to handle it.

If that happened then he would want WAR and hangings to resolve the issues.

After the wars and hangings, everyone for himself, including wives and children.

Then when another country came ashore and took over, he could begin again!

Zero to insanity in one paragraph!! -GP

and is BROKE! Reminds me of the suitcase in Dumb and Dumber full of IOU's! As a veteran I support taking care of anyone who fought for this Great Country. -GP

You better hope SS is there for the taking or a lot of seniors will be coming to your house to rob you. Its called survival. Get rid of the national education asses or association I guess it should be. We dont need them or the unions. Then cut by half everything we send to the warlords around the world. The money doesnt get to the people anyway. Close down the IRS (aka terrorists network). Cut all federal employees pay and benefits by 20% and raise their retirement age. They are bleeding this country dry. I wont go on anymore, there are so many places to cut.

Remember the SS "lockbox"? Well the thieves in Washington broke into that box, moved the money to the General Fund and left behind IOU's. That fits right into the rest of our monetary policy, doesn't it. Fiat currency, worthless paper. Just spend money you don't have and then print more. OK, it is not worthless, it cost 4 cents to make http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_much_it_cost_to_print_a_bill_of_money WAKE UP AMERICA!!! -GP

Now would you have Fayette County pay their wounded veterans instead of Washington?

First thing you know your Couinty taxes would be 40%!

THE SUPREME COURT DECIDES what is constitutional----not you or any individual.

Several sentences in it could be cited as to what the executive can appoint, and what congress can pass!

You surely aren't suggesting that the writers of the document could have included every word about everything that comes up in 0ver 200 years or the next 200 years?

We have already amended the thing several times where we didn't like it---it is not the Bible. (The Constitution was written by Deists, Englishmen, drunks and slavers, anyway). They hated the Anglicans! They hated the Monarchy.

"We have already amended the thing several times where we didn't like it" -GP

Hey let's do away w/ the Federal Reserve & the states can go back to printing their own money. Let's do away w/ the 17th Amendment & let the career political hacks in the statehouses like Sunny & AnyDeal send cronies on up the ladder.

Do you know the answer? They have created a fiat currency. Unconstitutional. Only problem with the 17th is it should be 4 years instead of 6. -GP

So in your opinion, the infallible framers were wrong in the 6 yr senate term because the 17th just reaffirmed what they originally wrote. 1: The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof,3 for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.
Some of the Teabaggers want to go back to the original meaning & letting the state house vote this bunch to office. I am guessing they feel they can vote the “right” people in on the local level to make the “right” decision for us. Problem w/ a loose, no head movement.. no one knows what everyone wants because everyone wants what they think is right. I want a 6 year 1 term president. I really want a parliamentary form of gov’t to avoid all this grid loc & let the ruling party rule.

represented the people and the Senate represented the states. That is why the state legislature chose the senators. This was to serve as a type of oversight in favor of the states. Now that they are both elected I say we would be better off with 4 year terms and TERM LIMITS for both houses. The way things are going now the "grid loc" you mentioned is starting to look pretty good! -GP

PTC Observer's picture

You are exactly correct on this. So, what was the rationale of the Framers?

First, following the tradition of the British the Senate was to be the upper house and represented by the best of the best. The best educated and the most honorable were expected to serve as Senators and serve many times without benefit to themselves. A popular-vote would potentially give unqualified or persons of superficial qualities a chance to be elected through a demagogic process. The members of state legislatures that had been chosen by their constituents could best choose the best and most honorable for the upper house. Finally, once elected by the legislature a Senator would be free to concentrate on the business of the US Senate without the distraction of campaigning. This is also why they settled on a six year terms for Senators.

The Constitution was a document designed to protect individual freedom by pushing as much decision making back to the individual citizen as possible. By having local state representatives elect the Senators for each state, they would have to go back to their constituents to find out their ideas on who should serve as Senator. More importantly they would have to explain their vote to their neighbors.

The process was not perfect of course but it worked pretty well until the 1850’s. The issue of slavery caused many vacancies not to be filled a timely fashion, in one case for two years. Also there was corruption within some state legislatures and votes were sold. This happened primarily during the reconstruction period following the Civil War. This corruption is not unlike what we see today on a national level. Politics will always be politics after all, but what is worse? As an aside, the 17th Amendment became law during the height of the Great Progressive Era.

National corruption or local corruption, what approach can lead to self correction the fastest? I would propose that local election through state representation is the best approach. Just look at the current slate of candidates running as Senators. Are they the “best of the best” or “the worst of the worst”? Look at their campaigns, are they running them as honorable people without personal attacks? Are they running on principles or hubris? You be the judge.

jeez ObservOr, you went way over their heads.
I’ve been thinking about things. 1) A headless organization is a moving target. O’Donnel in DE is a witch & doesn’t know what the 1st Amendment says but that’s not what Angle in NV says that Dearborn, MI is under Sharia Law (news to them & their mayor John O’Reilly). Not ME. Not my position.. I’m just a Patriot w/ the TEA Party.
It’s kinda like the YIPPIES. I didn’t always agree w/ Abbie Hoffman but he had the wilder hair & the loudest mouth, so he got the air play. 2) Why do they get to be Patriots and “their” Constitution is the correct one? What hill are “they” climbing to reclaim “their” Constitution? I have come up with several sane test people can ask these Teabaggers and see if their answers jive with the way things have gone for the 1st 200 plus years. 1) Do you agree with the creation of the National Parks System? Do you believe Teddy Roosevelt had the power to est Pelican Is. NWR AND are you better off today because he did or not? We’ll start w/ this simple question. Are you better off today?

PTC Observer's picture

Hard to prove a negative, but I would say we are not better off having the National Park Service. Without getting into a whole lot of detail, the Progressive or neo-Hamilton movement was one of the worst things that has happened to this country and personal freedom. Unless you include George W. Bush's Patriot Act, he and the Congress wins hands down.

You know how to be deceptive, don't you?

Bush and the Patriot Act! Should have been called Fourth Reich New SS!
Talk about Federal or State interference, the worst kind!

PTC Observer's picture

Bladder is that you? ;-)

How does this sound: "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
or maybe this one "Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem." This is not to say we should not fight terrorism, we should defend the safety of our great country with the full might of the military. The problem today is not democrat or republican, assaults come from both on freedom. -GP

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