Norcross could sell water system to county, raising water bills

Updated:

The mayor of Norcross says whether the city keeps systems or sells it, customers will likely be paying more, about an increase of 10 percent.

NORCROSS, Ga. - Norcross residents could soon be in for sticker shock on their water bills.

Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh has learned the city is considering selling its water system to Gwinnett County.

The mayor of Norcross says whether the city keeps systems or sells it, customers will likely be paying more, about an increase of 10 percent.

"Like any bills you have to pay each month, it comes off the top line," business owner John Adams told Kavanaugh. "It all adds up, so it's like, 'What's next?' You know?"

Gwinnett County has offered the city of Norcross $2 million to purchase its water system. The county says Norcross water customers can expect to pay 10 percent more, at least initially.

"Times are really tough for everybody and every little bit counts," Norcross resident Tony Papanderia told Kavanaugh.

Norcross mayor Bucky Johnson said whether the city keeps the system or sells it, costs are going up.

"We've held some of those increases off because we've been in this negotiation and we've been studying it," Johnson said.

He said the city spent four years studying various options for the water system and says selling to the county makes the most sense for the customer.

Johnson said the county can handle much of the system more efficiently and has a larger tax base to support it.

Small business owners say a slightly higher water bill won't force them to make any changes in prices or with staff.

"Everything adds up," Adams said.

The possible sale will be up for discussion during the city's March council meeting and could be up for a vote in April.

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