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BV hosts Town Hall on
Water/Sewer Rates
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Apartment Complexes
are hit the hardest

From the March 2, 2022 issue
of The Journal

By Richard Harris
   Buena Vista's chickens have finally come home to roost. And they have to be fed – and watered.
   That idiom is a decent summary of what the fairly large crowd was told at the Town Hall Meeting the Buena Vista City Council hosted last Thursday evening about the recent increase in water/sewer rates.
   Paul Rakel of SOWEGA Engineering opened the event by giving background information to help explain more fully why the increases were needed. The biggest factor is that the federal government is forcing the city to build a new wastewater treatment facility – at a whopping cost of $10.5 million – because the current one can't meet the requirements of the Environmental Protection Division, especially in terms of the amount of ammonia that can be in the water that is discharged from the facility after treatment.
   He also noted that the current facility was built many years ago and was renovated in 1985. He then said the typical lifespan of such a plant is 20 to 25 years, so it has operated well past expectations and has been repaired so much that it's now held together by "bubble gum and bailing wire." While that was an obvious exaggeration, it drove home his point that they can't simply continue repairing it.
   The good news is that the city received an $8 million grant from USDA to cover the bulk of the expense. The bad news is ...
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From the March 2, 2022 issue
of The Journal

By Richard Harris
   While all of the City of Buena Vista's water customers are seeing higher water bills now, for most households it appears to be a reasonable increase, with all factors taken into consideration (see separate story for details). However, those who own/manage apartment complexes with only one water meter are being hit harder.
   In the past, since they only had one water meter, their bills only included one base charge. Now, they must pay the base charge, including debt service fees, for each apartment (or "Equivalent Residential Unit") served by that one meter.
   Officials and speakers from SOWEGA Engineering and the Georgia Rural Water Authority explained it as a matter of fairness during last Thursday's Town Hall Meeting. They said it's not fair for a single household to pay the same basic fee as an apartment complex that serves 30 households or more.
   Angie Singleton, who manages two local apartment complexes for Boyd Management, said she understands that concept and it makes sense, but also said the fact that the city made the drastic change so suddenly, and without warning, was "utterly ridiculous." She noted that people who run businesses need to be able to plan for such increases in expenses.
   Pete McAllister of Parkland Corporation, which also has a significant number of local ...
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