Audit suggests Atlanta water rate increases could be smaller than city plans

Atlanta’s Department of Watershed Management may be too conservative in its projections and could collect more cash than expected over the next four years and beyond, according to a city audit.

But that doesn’t mean customers who pay the highest water and sewer rates in the country will see a decrease in their bills. At best, the city says it expects rates to remain steady through 2016.

The 12-page report, obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, suggests that current rates for the city’s water and sewer customers — who also live in parts of Coweta, DeKalb, Fayette and Fulton counties — could remain steady even after 2016, provided certain assumptions are adjusted to be more in line with historical trends. Rate increases after 2016 could at least be smaller than predicted.

So why not consider cutting rates? Top city officials say they would much rather plan for tight times. With the cost of expensive sewer upgrades and repairs looming, they are reluctant to promise any additional relief for ratepayers.

Subscribers can read our full report on the audit in Saturday’s AJC or on our subscription tablet app.

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