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Water rates to increase over three years
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Rockdale residents can expect to see an increase in their water bills beginning in July if the Board of Commissioners votes in support of the rate increase this month.

The Rockdale County Water Authority is receommending raising sewer and water consumption rates over a three-year period in order to maintain the county's systems. On Thursday, members of the Authority said they are meeting with each commissioner prior to the official vote.

"We have only met with (Richard) Oden, we want to meet with JaNice (Van Ness) and we were told Oz (Nesbitt) is in 100% support" of the vote, Authority Chairperson Elaine Nash said Thursday.

Water officials have been holding public information sessions in recent months to explain the looming water and sewer rate increases necessary to maintain the county's system. A study by consultants Rafetlis presented in December recommended raising sewer consumption rates for households by 15 percent over three years and adjusting the price structure for water consumption rates. The base rate for water and sewer would not be changed.

The average residential consumer, based on using 6,000 gallons a month and currently paying $72.88 a month, might see an increase in their water and sewer bill of $5.67 or 7.8 percent the first year, $5.25 or 6.7 percent the second year, and $4.86 or 5.8 percent the third year.

Rockdale Water Resources Director Dwight Wicks has said a rate increase is necessary because the water department is in need of capital due to a decline in net assets over the last five years. Wicks said contributions from developers and from funds generated through SPLOST have significantly declined since 2007 and the department is unable to maintain the current system or make any improvements unless rates are increased.