water customers will get a surprise in their water bill next month – a rate increase. But they won’t be alone - water users also are facing a rate hike.
“Walton County water rates have gone up and since we get most of our water from Walton County, our rates will have to go up accordingly,” Mayor Ray Nunley said.
City Manager Bill Jones announced the rate increase at Thursday’s city council meeting.
“The increase goes into effect next month – it will be 5 percent on water and 3 percent on sewer,” Jones said, adding the bill containing the rate hike will go out next month for payment in September.
This follows last weeks vote by the Walton County Board of Commissioners to approve a rate hike for county water users. According to the Walton Tribune, this will be implemented over the next three years and is partly as a result of expected increases on debt service for the Hard Labor Creek Reservoir. Although Loganville doesn’t have a direct interest in the Hard Labor Creek project, as a water customer of Walton County the city will be impacted by any expenses incurred by the project.
The Hard Labor Creek project, some 20 years in the making, is a joint project between Walton and Oconee counties. The project, to supplement water resources, is expected to continue for about 40 or 50 years.
The estimated $170 million for the initial design, construction, initial water treatment plant and transmission system of Phase 1 will be split between Walton and Oconee Counties on a 71.2 to 28.8-percent basis with Walton bearing the larger share. Included in those sharing in the water from the Hard Labor Creek project are current and future customers of the Walton County Water and Sewerage Authority, Oconee County Utility Department and regional wholesale customers including the cities of Loganville, Social Circle and Jersey.