LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnett County has agreed to buy Norcross's water system for $2 million, although the city wants more public input before the council agrees to sell.
The proposal was initiated through a citizens study several years ago, where the city advisory group recommended the city turn over its water and sewer assets to the county, which currently provides the water and sewage treatment.
Consolidation is the most efficient way to run operations, said Gwinnett Water Resources Director Ron Seibenhener. Many other cities have already sold their systems to the county.
"The average customer in the current Norcross system will see around a 10 percent increase in rates, but being part of an integrated system that offers maintenance and operational efficiencies will pay off in the long run," Seibenhener said. "This is a good deal for all the parties involved the county, the city and the customers."
Mayor Bucky Johnson said the city council wants to hear from the public again in March before voting on the proposal in April.
"We are satisfied that this deal makes sense for both the city and the county, but council will take additional time to hear from our customers before making a final decision," Johnson said.
Chairwoman Charlotte Nash promised to provide a great service to the city's nearly 2,200 water and sewer customers.
"I'm very proud of the way our crews respond to water and sewer emergencies for our current customers and know that we'll provide the same great service to our newest customers," she said.
If the proposal moves forward, the county will add about 33 miles of gravity sewer and 32 miles of water mains to the county's existing systems, which include 2,660 miles of gravity sewer and more than 3,410 miles of water mains. The city customers will be billed directly by the Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources, along with the county's other 240,000 customers starting in May or June.
Current rates and fees and an online bill calculator can be found on the Gwinnett County website, www.gwinnettcounty.com. Questions can be directed to the Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources customer service center at (678) 376-6800 or the city's customer service center at (770) 448-2122.