Story: City manager resigns
Gainesville water customers may see an increase in their bills in 2009.
Director of the Public Utilities Department Kelly Randall said despite falling water revenues, the department has done what it could to shield customers from huge hikes in the proposed water and sewer rates.
At a City Council work session Thursday, Randall proposed that water rates for customers inside the city jump to $3.63 for every 100 cubic feet of water up to 1,000 each month. Out-of-city customers will pay $7.26 for every 100 cubic feet of water up to 1,000.
During a retreat in February, Gainesville Public Utilities officials told council members they expected to raise water rates — which typically is done each year — by 5.5 percent in 2009.
Normally, the city increases rates about 4 percent each year. Still, the 5.5 percent rate is less than utility officials earlier projected they would have to charge to make up for falling water sales.
In May, the department included a 7 percent increase in water rates when it prepared its 2009 budget, but asked the City Council to look at water rates again in the fall when revenues from summer water sales were examined.
Thursday, Randall gave his final recommendation for the rates, saying they were in line with the February projections because the department cut big ticket items from its budget this year. The City Council is expected to vote on his proposal Tuesday.
If approved, the new rates for water and sewer will go into effect Jan. 1.