The Gainesville Times details pissed-off Flowery Branch residents who might have higher water/sewer rates soon:

Residents protested in late 2008 after a proposed fee schedule would have doubled sewer rates for residents in the Sterling on the Lake, Village at Deaton Creek and Reunion communities. The change would have meant going from a flat rate to one based on usage at $9.87 per 100 cubic feet.

In January, the commission voted to maintain the current rate structure of $42 per month through the end of 2009

The residents in these communities are the ONLY ones on the new South Hall system. This increase would only affect these residents. Simply put, these folks have to pay for the increased infrastructure that benefits them- and them alone.

Flowery Branch Councilman Chris Fetterman says this on his blog:

For all the citizens of Flowery Branch and South Hall County who are on the Hall County Sewer – well – your County Commissioner Bobby Banks has screwed you. He has allowed a rate structure to be presented that will increase your sewer rates to a point that is not even close to being inline with surrounding communities. That is irresponsible and I hope you all are prepared to show up and speak out when the commissioners vote on this.

Again, please note, the rate increase only affects the most exclusive neighborhoods in south Hall– Sterling on the Lake, Village at Deaton Creek and Reunion communities. Again, they are getting increased service, so it seems fitting that they should pay for the infrastructure needed to provide it.

The options are:

  1. Keep these elite Flowery Branch subdivisions from paying the increased rate and jeopardize the financial health of Hall’s water system.
  2. Make these subdivisions pay for the increased service.
  3. Distribute the cost among all south Hall residents– although they are not connected to the Hall system.

Hall Commissioner Bobby Banks has voted for the increase for these three communities, and Fetterman warns:

Well Bobby…Remember, it is election year and you need a good deed to tell the voters.

I guess you have an uphill battle winning over your constituent’s trust in the future.

How about this, Fetterman? Why don’t you move your neighborhoods to the Flowery Branch system and the problem would be solved?

Oh, you don’t wanna pay the taxes to do that either? Big surprise.

Resident Phyllis Mercer had the money quote:

“At some point they need to figure out a way that more than 1,800 (residents) pay for this,” Mercer said.

True. But Fetterman seems to advocate either not paying at all…or get all of south Hall to pay for the increased service that he so richly enjoys.