City commissioners hesitant to sell more water

Water exports discussed during the Toccoa City Commission meeting Monday night prompted concern for future growth in Toccoa.

Three water customers have submitted individual request to increase the amount of water purchased from the city of Toccoa, upon the expiration of their current agreements.

In the three entities’ proposals the requested rates were lower.

The city of Demorest, requested to increase its current 1 million gallons per day allowance to 2 million gallons per day; whereas Franklin County has also submitted an identical request.

The city of Demorest currently pays $2.53 per thousand gallons and has a contract which will expire July 1, 2026; while Franklin County pays $2.18 at the same rate, its contract will expire Nov. 1, 2019.

“Both have recently requested that we increase their agreements to 2 million gallons a day,” said City Manager Billy Morse. “So, separately that have both come to us saying they would like to buy 2 million gallons a day, if we get them a better price.”

Banks County also requested an increase, from its current 100,000 gallons per day usage to 1 million gallons per day.

Banks County’s contract will expire Oct. 10, 2020.

Mayor Jeanette Jamieson, being concerned, asked how many gallons per day the water plant was permitted to use.

The city of Toccoa is currently permitted to produce 9 million gallons of treated water per day; after its usage, the city maintains a surplus of 3.9 million gallons per day.

If the city chose to accept and grant the proposed amounts and fee schedule, Toccoa would have a surplus of 1.9 million gallons per day.

Jamieson was in opposition, as was the rest of the commission, stating that the city would be less attractive if they only had an additional 1.9 million gallons per day to offer to future growth and industry.

The overall consensus from the commission was that they would not increase the requested amounts.

No action was taken on the matter.