Owners of large developments such as shopping centers could soon see a slight increase in their water bill to cover costs for private fire lines, which those developments use rather than public hydrants.
The charges will show up on bills issued after Nov. 1, according to Gainesville Water Resources Director Linda MacGregor.
The costs for public hydrants are split equally among customers, but larger facilities, which usually have sprinklers, have private fire connections.
“The costs to provide the water for those (private connections) are charged to that customer based on their connection size,” MacGregor said. “We’ve done a recent cost of the analysis to provide that service.”
The change will affect about 500 customers, MacGregor said, and homeowners will not see a change in their water bills because they use public hydrants. Water used to fight fires is not added to customers’ bills, she said.
Costs for customers with eight and ten-inch connections will go up about $235 a year. People with connections less than eight inches will see a slight rate decrease.
The Gainesville City Council will vote on the change at its 5:30 p.m. meeting Oct. 1 at the Public Safety Complex, 701 Queen City Parkway.