At its meeting Monday Smyrna City Council voted to pass a water and sewer increase, but tabled the adoption of the Fiscal Year 2013 budget.
and a four percent increase to its sewer rates. Here’s what the increase looks like:
The city buys its water from the Cobb-Marietta Water Authority, a wholesale supplier. The water authority informed the city that it would be implementing an annual eight percent rate increase effective Jan. 2012 through 2018. As of Jan. 1, 2012, the city of Smyrna pays the water authority $2.34 per 1,000 gallons of water. Until now, the city has been absorbing the increase. .
“Honestly, if we want to be a fiscally responsible government, which I think we do and I think we are, we have to pass this rate increase on,” said Ward 3 Council Representative Teri Anuelwicz. “So that’s what this is. There’s something fundamental that the citizenry expects beyond police and fire tap they can turn on their tap and get clean, safe water and as much of it as they need. And that is what we’re working to preserve.”
Council also approved an ordinance that makes future Smyrna increases effective the same time the CMWA increases take effect. This means Smyrna water customers can expect another eight percent increase to their water rates in Jan. 2013.
One item Council didn’t vote on was the FY 2013 budget. Ward 1 Council Representative Melleny Pritchett noted that historically the budget has been passed at the second Council meeting in June, so tabling the budget does not put the city behind schedule.
Anuelwicz said the Council is taking its time to make sure they get the budget right.
“I scanned the headlines this afternoon and saw that governments around the state and throughout the metro area are talking about everything from layoffs to raising millage rates to closing multiple fire stations,” she said. “None of those things are in anyway in this city’s orbit. We are building a fire station in Ward 7. As Ms. Pritchett said historically we’ve approved the budget at the second June meeting. We just want to take a little more time as Council to hone the budget.”
Ward 7 Council Representative said he looked forward to hearing input from citizens, though none spoke at the second public hearing for the budget held during the meeting.
Check back later with Smyrna-Vinings Patch for more news from Monday’s Smyrna City Council meeting.