The Rome City Commission is poised to pass a resolution Monday raising water and sewer rates by 2.5% for 2020.
The across-the-board increase would cost the average customer about $1.51 more per month, total, beginning Jan. 1. It was recommended by the water and sewer committee Nov. 7 to partially recoup costs of system upgrades said to run at least $20 million.
Commissioners will meet at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall, 601 Broad St.
Among the system upgrades is a reverse osmosis water filtration system deemed necessary to protect residents from harmful chemicals coming from upstream carpet manufacturers in the Dalton area.
The city filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Floyd County Superior Court against more than 30 companies for allegedly releasing toxic perfluorinated compounds into the Oostanaula River — a main source for Rome’s drinking water.
City officials estimate the rate increase would cause the average monthly residential bill to jump from about $60 to $61.50. This was the same increase approved by the commission for 2019 and likely represents an annual increase of at least the same over the next 10 years.
Also tonight, Commissioners will consider a resolution approving a capital and operating grant application for fiscal year 2021 to cover a little over $2 million in Rome Transit Department expenses, including $1.6 million for two 30-foot hybrid replacement buses.
“The hybrids are more expensive to purchase, but also more efficiently operated,” City Manager Sammy Rich said Friday. “It’s one of those things where you pay a little more on front end, but save in the long run.”
Public hearings on two rezoning requests will be held during Monday’s meeting, as well.
One is for a Northwest Georgia Housing Authority project involving senior living duplexes adjacent to Summerville Park subdivision on Martha Berry Highway. The Rome-Floyd Planning Department staff recommends approval to fill the growing need for senior housing and to provide a residential buffer between Summerville Park and the commercial businesses along the highway.
“There should be no excessive or burdensome use of public facilities or service, including but not limited to streets, schools, water or sewer utilities, and police or fire protection,” the planning staff wrote in its recommendation.
A representative from the Summerville Park neighborhood spoke in favor of the development at a recent Rome-Floyd County Planning Commission meeting.
The second rezoning request involves allowing two small parcels along Riverside Parkway to be used for additional parking for a retail development to be constructed on two larger parcels near Chieftans Museum, the Social Security Administration Office, the Labor Department and an EMS office.
Other than causing additional congestion at the intersection with the Armuchee Connector, the planning staff recommends approval since the parcels are too narrow to be used for anything else — with the caveat that the parcels be merged into one with two other parcels zoned as commercial.