Cedartown Commissioners are set for a busy night as they seek to work on issues surrounding water ahead of their upcoming Dec. 11 meeting.
City Manager Bill Fann plans to start a conversation about how much city water customers are paying for base rates, and whether those need to be increased during tonight's work session, set to start at 6 p.m.
“It is something that we need to look at,” Fann said. “There’s been no changes in the rate structure since 2010, and we have one of the lowest base rates in the area.”
Fann provided numbers he collected from around Northwest Georgia, comparing what Cedartown customers pay compared to Bremen, Cave Spring, Tallapoosa, Rockmart, Polk and Floyd counties, with the city’s water rates falling at $10 for the first 500 cubic feet of water served for a base rate, plus $2.24 for every 100 cubic feet of water after to customers whether in a household or business.
By comparison, Rockmart customers pay $8.84 per cubic foot, with an additional $3.31 per 100 cubic feet of water. On the other end of the spectrum, Polk County customers pay $14.19 for 267 cubic feet of water, and $4.60 per every 100 cubic feet following.
To translate that into something easier to understand, 100 cubic feet of water equals just over 748 gallons of water. So for $10, customers get 3,740 gallons of water in Cedartown.
Cedartown measures water in cubic feet instead of gallons, Fann explained. He said that was a policy put in place by previous administrations without any particular reason. Most water authorities measure their water by the gallon.
“We’re lower than most everyone around, though a few are still lower than us,” Fann said.
Fann said that an increase isn’t planned at the moment, but he wanted "to have a conversation we want to have," he said.
He said it is a conversation worth having, since revenue was down with Cedartown’s water authority and an increase in expenses in treating water during the 2017 calendar year. Additionally, work continues on water meters to ensure the water authority is getting correct numbers in flow rate.
Commissioners also have another water related item on their agenda with changes being sought to wastewater treatment plant worker’s job description. Fann said that changes are being sought to in the job descriptions to give employees additional responsibilities and future requirements.
The work session is also set to feature a discussion over any needed changes to the 2018 budget coming due for approval on Dec. 11 ahead of the start of the calendar year in January. Unlike the surrounding municipalities, Cedartown begins their budget year at the start of the calendar year, instead of a fiscal year starting on July 1 and ending on June 30.