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Warner Robins starts process for utility rate study

Warner Robins City Councilman Chuck Shaheen, left, speaks at Monday’s City Council meeting as council members Carolyn Robbins and Keith Lauritsen listen. Shaheen said the city has one of the lowest rates for water usage in the area.
Warner Robins City Councilman Chuck Shaheen, left, speaks at Monday’s City Council meeting as council members Carolyn Robbins and Keith Lauritsen listen. Shaheen said the city has one of the lowest rates for water usage in the area.

The City Council on Monday took a first step in a process that could lead to an increase in water and sewer fees.

The council approved a resolution to hire Public Resource Management Group to conduct a study of the service and fees. The business was recommended by a committee that examined companies interested in the work.

The purpose of the study is to determine what the city should be charging to cover the long-term operating costs and infrastructure needs of the system.

Mayor Randy Toms will negotiate with the company to determine a price for the study. He said he expects to have a price and contract for the council to approve at its next meeting.

The study would take about three months, Toms said. The council would then look at the results and determine whether an increase is needed.

In the pre-council meeting, Councilman Chuck Shaheen showed the council a website that calculates the cost of water in different cities. Estimating an average monthly usage of 5,000 gallons, the amount was put in for different cities in the area and elsewhere. Warner Robins came up with one of the lowest.

“The utility rates are very inexpensive for the services that we provide,” he said.

Also at the meeting, the council approved an ordinance that set the millage rate at 9.979. That’s down slightly from the current rate of 9.99 due to a required rollback. The rollback is the result of $32,000 the city received from the local option sales tax in Peach County. A portion of the city is in Peach County.

Wayne Crenshaw: 478-256-9725, @WayneCrenshaw1

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