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Midway expected to hike water bills Monday
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The Midway City Council has scheduled a special meeting at 6 p.m. Monday to set new, increased rates for water and wastewater services. The council unanimously confirmed its decision to raise rates at its Aug.  9 meeting, but did not set rates.
Georgia Rural Water Association representative Bill Powell, who previously discussed water and wastewater plans with the council, is expected to be at Monday’s meeting at Midway City Hall.
Powell said a new rate structure will encourage water conservation by charging more per 1,000 gallons as consumption increases. He said that in addition to charging customers for water used, new water bills should include a fee that will generate funds for paying off the city’s USDA community development loan. Powell also said bills should include an administrative fee and a base rate “to cover the cost of keeping the doors open and the lights on at the plant.”
During a recent planning meeting, council members used the “bill” of a fictitious average customer to demonstrate the expected increase. A customer paying $39.26 per month would pay $53.93 per month in September when the hike takes effect. Officials say customers have been notified that their September bills will reflect the higher rate.
In other business, Midway adopted the model soil erosion and sedimentation control ordinance, including provision for a 10-foot buffer to protect wetlands during construction. Abe Nadji, of the Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission, said the buffer will not deprive landowners of the use of their land. Trees can be cut within the buffer once it is stabilized, he said.
LCPC Chief Inspector Nils Gustavson said that under state guidelines, local governments should have adopted sediment control ordinances by July 1, but Liberty County and its municipalities were granted an extension. The Liberty County Commission and the Hinesville City Council struck the buffer from an ordinance they adopted. Gustavason said the remaining six municipality governments either had adopted or were in the process of adopting the ordinance, including the wetlands buffer.
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