Commissioners adopt new water and sewer rate structure, issues bonds for infrastructure improvements

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On October 27, the Board of Commissioners approved a water and sewer rate resolution that sets rates for the next decade with planned gradual increases. The rate resolution will ensure funding to make needed investments in improvements, as well as for responsible maintenance and operation of the water and sewer system.

The Board of Commissioners previously approved the Gwinnett County Water and Sewerage Authority to issue bonds to finance these investment projects. The new rate structure will support the repayment of the bonds.

Economic development and service demand growth have resulted in the need to expand and extend existing infrastructure. In addition, the County must maintain and rehabilitate critical assets as well as address aging infrastructure in order to avoid future failures that can interfere with service to customers and harm the environment.

“Based on today’s favorable interest rates, our finance staff was able to rework the terms of the bonds, which allowed us to implement a smaller overall increase for ratepayers than originally anticipated,” said Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlotte Nash. “The rate resolution provides funding needed by the Department of Water Resources to continue its history of serving residents and businesses, maintaining the system in a manner that protects the environment, and complying with federal and state requirements.”

The new rate resolution will gradually increase water and sewer rates for usage every other year from 2021 to 2031. The rate increases over the period add up to an additional $1.38 per 1,000 gallons water and $2.27 per 1,000 gallons sewer used by 2031. In addition, the monthly sewer base charge will increase from $5 to $7.50 in 2023 to place sewer charges more in line with costs.