Forsyth County Board of Commissioners Approved 2012 Millage Rates & Talked About Water Contract

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The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the  2012 millage rates that will fund the 2013 fiscal budget, at 26.574 mils Thursday, the same as last year. The overall mileage rate is made up of the school board millage of 18.918 mils, the county’s maintenance and operating rate (4.812 mils), fire services (1.975 mils) and General Obligation Bonds (0.869 mils).

“We’re proud of our department heads for holding the line on spending with many of them coming in under budget,” District 4 Commissioner Patrick Bell said. “Because of them, we were able to keep the same effective millage rate with no noticeable decrease in service to the citizens.”

Chairman Jim Boff attended Tuesday’s Cumming City Council meeting and said he was disappointed council members failed to approve a binding intergovernmental agreement regarding the water contract would be approved.

At the start of the commissioners’ meeting, Chairman Boff issued the following statement:

“This past Tuesday night I was in attendance at the Cumming City Hall meeting in the hopes the binding agreement we have with the city regarding the water contract would be approved.

Due partially to time constraints no decision was reached on that agreement. Instead there was a so called rate study presented to the Mayor and Council.

According to this study both the City of Cumming and Forsyth County charge very close to the minimum of surrounding areas. Rather, than taking a moment of solace that there may be a job well done by government in the cost borne by our rate payers, the consultant and the Mayor immediately began talking about doubling their water rate.

It was even suggested by them that the county should also double its rate. To think that on the basis of a rate study alone, one can begin to talk of raising rates is unbelievable, and to associate the increase without reference to cost is unacceptable.

The next main point about water from the consultant is that somehow the City of Cumming is losing money on every 1000 gals of finished water the city sells to the county.

Since the County is the city’s largest customer, and since we pay the highest price for water, and since the city does not show a loss in its budget, this conclusion is at best unfounded.

In any event, the Mayor concluded that the city would have to study the offer from the county and the new information from the consultant and work to come to an agreement with the Board of Commissioners.

I want to make it clear to anyone and everyone, that the Mayor has already agreed to terms, and should now accept what was previously agreed. I want to make it clear that since negotiations are already over, this commissioner will go no further in negotiation, and expect the city to timely honor what it has already committed to.

I would also ask that all concerned citizens contact their State Delegations and insist that laws be passed so that municipalities and counties can no longer be left free to treat state water impounded by a federal dam as an individual gold mine.”

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One Response to Forsyth County Board of Commissioners Approved 2012 Millage Rates & Talked About Water Contract

  1. Ron Seder

    July 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Since when are prices of intergovernmental services based on free market principles? The free market works great for all of us when there is sufficient competition, but it is miserable when a supplier of goods or services has an unregulated monopoly.

    Do not be fooled by an advisor, hired by the city, concluding that the city is losing money on its water sales to the county. The city produces finished water for much less than $1.00 per 1000 gallons and charges the county $2.43. If the county finished the water, rather than the city, the cost to the county would also be much less than $1.00 per 1000 gallons.

    For decades the Mayor has had the advantage with the county on water rates, local option sales tax (LOST) splits and special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) splits, costing the county many many millions of dollars every year, because we continue to elect to the Board of Commissioners a majority who will follow the Mayor’s unjustified directions.