Rockdale Water Authority votes 4-0, increase water and sewage rates, holds public meetings
Proposal will go before the board of commissioners for approval
The increase in the proposed rate would increase a water user’s bill by $2.50-$3.50 each month. The proposal increase a 6%/year for the next 5 years.
Rockdale County government, one of the smallest counties in the state of Georgia recently elected a new chairman and one new board member. The board has approved 5% pay increases for county employees on top of a “millage adjustment”. Last year the county employees were unable to properly calculate basic math and miscalculated tax revenues. The state considered that to be a tax increase (4.9%) but the county democrats reminded citizens that although they would pay more in taxes, it was related to home values and the state was incorrect in calling it a “tax increase”
The last rate increase for Rockdale County water was in 2013. That increase included 5.8 percent in water rates for the average consumption of 6000 gallons and 9.5 percent increase for sewer. The combine rate increase calculated to 7.8percent based on the same 6,000 gallons average usage per month. In 2015 this increased to 10.3 for sewer.
The current proposal is based on more outside consultants funded by tax payers. Rockdale, up until recently, had the highest foreclosure rate in the State of Georgia and a rate higher than the national average. Rockdale has also ignored a challenge of failing sewer infrastructure, something critical of economic expansion within Rockdale County.
The county Board of Commissioners will host a series of meetings and allege to desire citizen’s input.
• May 8, 7 p.m., Progressive Club, 1160 Veal Street Community Center.
• May 9, 9 a.m., Tea Talk with Commissioner Sherri L. Washington, Awake Coffee, Main Street.
• May 9, 2 p.m, League of Women Voters, Panera Bread, 1655 Ga. Highway 138.
• May 17, 7 a.m., Rotary Club Meeting, Rockdale Medical Center.
• May 18, 8:30 a.m., Chamber of Commerce Executive Session, 936 Green Street.
• May 18, 7 p.m., Lochniver Homeowners Association, 2638 High Street.
• May 24, 6 p.m., Public Presentation, Parker Road Complex.
• May 27, 9 a.m., Rockdale County Democratic Party, 1264 Parker Road.
• June 5, 7:30 p.m., NAACP, Macedonia Baptist Church, 1052 Barton Street.
Officials indicated that any homeowners associations or civic groups that would like to schedule a meeting should contact the main number, 770-278-7400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule.
The rate increase is cited as necessary step to borrow even more money so the board can move forward with a new wastewater treatment plant, funded by all residents who use water, regardless of sewer service. “I don’t want it to look like a sleigh of hand. They need to understand that even though they are water customers and may not be receiving sewage service at their homes and may not even have access to it, that they are the ones still paying for it.” William Campbell, Water Board member.
The board of commissioners is set to vote on the increase by the end of June.
To put this “increase of county revenue” into perspective:
- Property taxes were increased to 4.9 percent in 2016
- 5 percent “across the board” raises were approved for all county employees in January 2017
- Chairman’s salary is over 6 figures
- Roselyn Miller, Finance Director (no degree or real background for the job) received about $10,000 salary increase
- Each commissioner received about a $3000 increase, two of which are parttime commissioners
- Jennifer Rutledge County Clerk, and Roselyn Miller now make over $90,000 per year.
Residents and businesses should plan to attend any or all of these public meetings. Unfortunately, many of the public meetings are not well attended, included the recent nine meetings about the property tax increase late in 2016.
Stay tuned for more to this story and an investigative series about Chairman Oz Nesbitt, Jorge Lopez, and crooked expenses and ethics violations that Rockdale tax payers are funding
The Rockdale County Government, a full democrat member board, has essentially increased expenses and seeking every possible way to “increase revenue”. These increases in expenses are done so with the full support of the community (citizens who chose not to pay attention or make their voices heard). This is another example of poor fiscal responsibility and being good stewards of the people’s money. Consider, does your employer provide pay increases of this size to you even if you perform poorly in your duties? Does your employer or your household budget increase expenses, arguably overpay for goods and services, then dictate to your revenue sources to increase your revenue? Public officials should not either.Channel : NetNewsJournalsGeorgia.sm NetNewsCatster: John Thompson