Reese Rescinds One Of His Vetoes

Villa Rica Ga -- Villa Rica Mayor, Jeff Reese, rescinded one of the two vetoes he laid out last week against the City's 2018 budget. On Tuesday, he pulled back the veto involving new city utility rates for senior citizens which will clear the way for utility rate hikes for all city residents to go forward as scheduled in February.

City staff believe that the rate hikes are necessary for providing additional revenues meant to stop the subsidy of the city’s sewer/water fund by other city funds.

Reese commented on why he decided to rescind the veto, "I know that we have to right the ship. We have to increase rates because basically our enterprise fund hasn't been paying for itself for years now and so it is the will of the council and this mayor, to get the ship right and head the right way."

Reese said his decision to rescind the rate hike veto was the result of discussions with city staff and the development of an additional procedure that should determine the number of seniors who might qualify, if their exemption were adjusted higher based on need.

The Mayor discussed actions taken by the city, "I received information from staff that basically did exactly what I had asked, which was to provide a letter to go out to all 600 residents that currently receive the senior tax exemption. We basically told them what we are doing and why we are doing it. In addition to that, they will also get an application that they can fill out so that we can get an idea about how many people are actually affected by this. We may find that we have 10% that actually qualify because the qualifier is $24,120 for the household."  

The applications for the utility senior discount will be due on January 31st and rates will be changed on February 1st.

All Villa Rica residents will see utility rate increases in February. According to the city, the average customer will see an increase in $1.12 per month for water, sewer will increase by $8.05 and curbside garbage will go up by $3.00.

The City plans utility increases each of the next three years, rather than all at once, to make up for the sewer/water fund which has not been covering the costs of operation.
Filed Under :
Topics : Business_Finance
Location : Villa Rica
People : Jeff Reese