Lawrenceville intends to sell water system to county

Lawrenceville plans to sell its water system to Gwinnett County. (Courtesy City of Lawrenceville)
Lawrenceville plans to sell its water system to Gwinnett County. (Courtesy City of Lawrenceville)

The city of Lawrenceville plans to sell its water system to Gwinnett County.

A vote will be held Monday in a specially called meeting, and Gwinnett County spokesman Joe Sorenson said the county would consider the purchase Tuesday if it is approved by both the city and the water and sewerage authority.

Lawrenceville provides water to all residents and businesses within its city limits, but spokesperson Melissa Hardegree said the system is old, and requires millions of dollars in repairs.

Lawrenceville is already buying 80% of its water from the county, she said. Since the city has outgrown its system, and a rate increase to pay for repairs was being considered, Hardegree said the costs to keep the system would have been high.

“It’s something they’ve been contemplating for a while,” Hardegree said of the sale. “The whole thing just makes sense.”

The sale will increase rates slightly for residents, but Lawrenceville’s base business rate of $11.70 (which includes the first 2,000 gallons) plus $6.92 per 1,000 gallons for additional usage is higher than Gwinnett’s rate of $7.50 plus $4.99 per 1,000 gallons.

The county will pay $400,000 for the system, which the city will use to provide a $60 credit for residential customers. The credit should cover a year’s worth of increases. The county will also make $13.3 million in repairs over a decade, and will give the city two pieces of property on Ezzard Street.

There are no immediate plans for the land.

Hardegree said the system currently generates $4.95 million in annual revenue, all of which goes to supporting the department. The Lawrenceville water department predates the county’s.

The sale includes water mains, valves, hydrants and meters as well as billing systems, customer water usage data, easements and GIS data. Lawrenceville will retain all wells, storage tanks and water treatment plants.

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