Toccoa City Commission Continues To Discuss Water Rate Hike for County Customers

Toccoa City Commissioners continue to discuss what to do about a proposal to increase the differential in water rates between customers who live inside the city limits of Toccoa and those who live outside the city limits in Stephens County.

At Monday’s city commission work session, Toccoa City Manager Mike Jackson said that a bill has been put forth in the State House of Representatives to prevent cities from charging more to customers who do not live in the city limits for water.

“House Bill 41 would require water and sewer rates charged to customers outside city limits to be the same as those charged to customers inside the city limits unless a contract is negotiated between the provider and the governing authority of the affected customers,” said Jackson.

That bill has been assigned to the Governmental Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives, but has not been voted on yet.

A proposal has been put forth to charge a water customer who lives in Stephens County, but outside the city limits of Toccoa 1.25 times the amount charged to a customer who lives inside the city limits.

City officials have said that under a past city-county SPLOST agreement, the city was allowed to charge up to 1.25 times the city water rate to a county resident, but no higher than that 1.25 figure.

City commissioners asked staff to find out more about what was in both the bill and the SPLOST agreement in order to continue discussions at a future meeting.