Currently the City is grappling with the problem of water, how to charge for it and how to do so.
For the past number of years the city has been charged an increase from the Cobb Marietta Water Authority. The city buys water from the CMWA and then passes this charge on to residences and businesses.
There is an up charge to cover billing and the costs of maintaining the pipes that go to your front meters. More about the condition of pipes later on.
About ten years ago City Council members, mayors and others attended a meeting with the CMWA. At that meeting it was explained to us that there would be an increase in water rates each year, usually in January, forever.
Therefore at the first meeting in January we automatically passed enabling legislation or a resolution to increase the rates by so much. For some reason that did not happen this year.
Therefore, all of us have been getting water for the same price as last year. The City must find a way to make up for this considerable loss of revenue that includes the extras pointed out above. How to do this?
They have several options that will be further discussed at this Wednesday's agenda meeting, I am sure.
One option could be to simply go back to the current system but everyone will have to pay, likely in one months billing, for the water and extras that should have passed in January. What happened to the usual increase is a mystery. Who was supposed to have the paper work ready for the Council to act?
Next, in comes a representative from the Rural Water Council to give a presentation on a different system that would set up "tiers" for water users. The more water you use the more per gallon it costs. That would give a break to small users like me.
However, larger users would pay more proportionally. Then business users would pay according to the same formula as figured out by the storm water fee. This is where it gets very complicated. Since I am no longer privy to all of the discussions I don't have a firm lock on this but as of earlier this week neither did the Council.
That is why they discussed this at their annual retreat. If I were there I would suggest now and before that we stick with the way we charged all of these years. If changes were needed, especially complicated changes that needed some public input, I would have voted to study the issue over the next nine months.
After all whats the hurry? And why was this new idea not presented to the Council months before January?
Now, lets get to water pipes. According to a study done by the American Water Works Association, the country will have to spend $1 trillion dollars over the next 23 years to repair the nations infra structure of fresh water pipes. Yes, $1 trillion.
In our case we had commissioned a study some three years ago that showed many of our pipes were getting to the replacement stage. That means big bucks to say replace a broken pipe that runs under a large concrete road like Sailors Parkway.
Don't get out the "for sale" sign. This is a nationwide problem and you can't run from it.
At some point the City, all cites and counties, are going to have to charge more for the delivery of water. That's just the way things go. In the meantime conservation is a good idea no matter what. Our region will have water problems from now on. All of this growth and lack of rain causes problems.
Thanks for reading.