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2009 Gainesville water rates still uncertain
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In other business

The Gainesville City Council also:

  • Gave final approval to annexation requests from the police department to annex portions of right-of-way on McEver Road and Interstate 985.
  • Authorized the police department to accept a grant for more than $10,000 to purchase bulletproof vests.
  • Discussed "personnel and potential litigation" in a closed-door session for more than a half an hour.
Hamrick said the council has asked Randall’s staff to look at the feasibility of postponing a rate change or calculating a different rate increase.

Gainesville water customers may not know until next month what they will be paying for water and sewer in 2009.

The City Council was expected to vote on the rates for 2009 — a 5.5 percent increase for water customers — at Tuesday’s council meeting. However, the item was absent from the agenda.

Gainesville Public Utilities Director Kelly Randall said the council asked him to return to its next work session on Thursday to discuss the rates again.

At the council’s last work session, Randall proposed that water rates for customers inside the city jump to $2.03 for every 100 cubic feet of water up to 1,000 cubic feet each month. Out-of-city customers will pay $4.06 for every 100 cubic feet of water up to 1,000.

Currently, city customers pay $1.92 for every 100 cubic feet of water up to 1,000, while out-of-city customers pay $3.84.

The previous proposal could change by the council’s next work session on Thursday, some council members said.

Councilman Robert "Bob" Hamrick said the council would take a second look at Randall’s proposal before making a decision.

He said concerned residents had expressed unhappiness with the rate increase, saying now was not the time.

Hamrick and Councilman George Wangemann cited concerns about the current economic conditions and the hardship the rate change may cause customers.

"With everything else seemingly going up, this would obviously be a bad time for just one more thing to be raised," Wangemann said. "So if we can hold the line for even a temporary period of time, I think that would be well advised. And hopefully the economy would have a chance to get back on track by that point."

Randall is expected to present his findings Thursday morning at the council’s work session.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed the rates Randall proposed for in-city and out-of city customers.

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