Explaining Georgetown's water and sewer rate increase

GT (002).jpg
Posted at 7:00 PM, Nov 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-29 19:47:22-05

GEORGETOWN, Ky. (LEX 18) — Georgetown residents are being asked to pay as much as 61% more in water and sewer fees over the next couple of years. Georgetown Mayor Tom Prather explains that there are two major mistakes behind the proposal. One is the redesign and rebuild of the city's wastewater treatment plant, and the other — an interest calculation from a 2019 rate study. Together those costs total around $50 million.

Prather says, "I regret the circumstances that our citizens and our council find themselves in right now. The timing is very unfortunate, and the magnitude of these increases are large."

Right now, the fixed rate in Georgetown for every 2000 gallons is about $26. If this proposal passes, next year that rate could go up to $36 and will continue to increase over the next few years.


"I regret the situation deeply, but the circumstances are real and the financial need is real,” says Mayor Prather.

Last night, the council was spilt 4-4 on a vote that would postpone the rate increase until January when a new council and mayor will take office. The mayor abstained from voting which would have broken the tie. One council member, Karen Tingle-Sames, thinks more time is needed to assess the rates.

She says, "If we are going to put this burden on the back of the taxpayers, then we actually need to have the state auditors come in and look at the water company and let them review what has happened, how in the world can you make a 50 — two different mistakes."

Another council member, Connie Tackett, says that the price increase was inevitable and she wants to see the current council see it through.

She says, "I would want it to be the council that's already started it and I would like to go ahead and finish it and move forward with a clean slate and let the water company do what they need to do, because we have a good staff there too."

As Mayor Prather's time in office comes to a close — he says he hopes that a program will be created in the future to help Georgetown’s residents with this increased cost.

Prather says, "It’s very important that we pursue some program with some criteria that can help citizens that it would be so many citizens that are really harmed by this."

Georgetown's city council will meet again on this for a second reading on the second Monday in December.