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Drought taxes revenue: Public utilities earns less from water sales
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Ongoing water conservation efforts, both local and state-mandated, may cause Gainesville’s public utilities department to lose its streak of steadily increasing revenue, a financial auditor for the city said today.

Over the past five years, the utilities department’s revenue has increased to $53.6 million dollars in fiscal year 2007. The department’s revenue from connection fees alone was up by 60 percent in the fiscal year.

However, Chris Hollifield of Rushton and Company accounting firm said that number may drop for 2008.

“Water sales may be down next year,” Hollifield said.

So far this month, the utilities department pumped nearly 2 million gallons less water to its system per day as it did in December 2007.

Hollifield reported the findings of the audit to city council members in this morning’s work session.

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