COVINGTON, Ga. – Utility rates will stay the same in the city of Covington after the Covington City Council agreed to further examine its options and unanimously voted to remove a proposed rate increase of 22 percent over a five-year period of time from Monday night’s city council meeting agenda.
The increase comes after the city learned about an escalating price tag tied to its buy-in to Plant Vogtle, the only nuclear power plant under construction in the United States.
Councilman Michael Whatley said when the city initially agreed to get involved with the Vogtle project more than 10 years ago, it was a good deal. As the price continues to increase, the city is left searching for funds to pay its portion of the bill.
Councilman Josh McKelvey proposed creating a taskforce of local experts to examine the city’s budget, the cost and propose a solution.
Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston and Councilwoman Susie Keck both emphasized their desires to be as transparent as possible when considering options to pay off the debt. The council is expected to schedule a work session in the new year to further discuss its options.