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Flowery Branch hikes water and sewer rates
2 percent increase covers rise in costs, city manager says
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Flowery Branch residents and businesses will pay more for their water and sewer service in the coming months.

The City Council approved a 2 percent increase in water and sewer rates and administrative fees in a unanimous vote Thursday. The rate change is effective immediately.

The move is supposed to increase revenues by more than $32,000 for the city's water and sewer service, which serves slightly fewer than 1,200 customers in and around the city.

The rate increase reflects hikes in electrical rates and insurance rates as well as the increasing costs for chemicals used to treat water and wastewater, City Manager Bill Andrew said.

"It's just covering our costs," Andrew said.

Residential customers within the city limits who use 1,000 gallons of water or less, the minimum charge for the commodity, will see their rates rise to $5.64 from $5.53. Sewer rates for residential customers in the city limits will rise to $6.77 for the first 1,000 gallons.

For those outside the city limits, the charge for 1,000 gallons of water or less will rise to $7.51 from $7.36. Sewer rates for residential users outside the city limits will rise to $9.01.

Both water and sewer rates for residential customers in multi-family housing units as well as rates for businesses and industrial customers also will rise by 2 percent for each service.

The city also approved an increase in administrative fees, or fees charged to pay for costs to respond to customer issues and calculate and send bills.

For customers who only buy water or sewer service from the city, the administrative fee will rise to $1.65 from $1.50. Customers who buy both water and sewer will see a change in the monthly administrative fee to $2.75 from $2.50.

"We have some people that are on our sewer and Gainesville's water, so they're just going to see an increase in their sewer bill, obviously," Andrew said.