During an online meeting Feb. 11, the Loganville City Council voted to accept a water purchase agreement with increased water rates from Walton County. The agreement also reflects the coming addition of a second point of water delivery for the city.
Loganville does not have its own water source and therefore buys water from Walton and Gwinnett counties and is working to procure water from the city of Monroe via a new water line, according to city spokesperson Robbie Schwartz.
“Per (Public Utilities) Director Brandon Philips, we are currently waiting on the city of Monroe to get a few easements approved so their contractors can finish the new water main that will tie into our system at Trident Trail,” Schwartz said in an email. “Work on this began back in 2019 and once complete, our contract rate with them is $3.72 per 1,000 gallons.”
Loganville City Manager Danny Roberts informed council members Walton County was raising its wholesale water rates from $2.62 per 1,000 gallons to $2.97 per 1,000 gallons. The city buys 1 million gallons of water a day, according to Schwartz.
Roberts said Walton County’s rates were significantly less than the rates charged by Gwinnett County.
The city buys 250,000 gallons of water from Gwinnett at a cost of $5.19 per 1,000 gallons, Schwartz confirmed. Gwinnett County’s rate increase went into effect last month, he added.
Councilman Bill DuVall, who attended a Walton County Commission meeting on Feb. 2, said last week that the water rate increase was “inevitable.”
Walton County Water Department Director Morris Jordan verified the county’s water rates had not been increased since 2012. Walton primarily gets its water from the Cornish Creek Reservoir (Lake Varner) in Newton County, Jordan explained.
Since Newton County’s water treatment costs have gone up, Walton’s water costs have risen as well, he said. Jordan said the county has a 25% interest in the water plant in Newton County.
According to Loganville’s new water purchase agreement with Walton County, there will be two points of water delivery: “One is an existing 10-inch water supply main located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 78 and Twin Lakes Road on the eastern side of the city of Loganville. The second is a 12-inch line being extended to connect with the city of Loganville on Claude Brewer Road near the intersection with Rabbit Farm Road.”
The agreement also mentions the cost for extending the 12-inch water distribution line, specifying that the city is responsible for its construction.
Construction costs for this water distribution line are estimated at $1,750,878, according to the agreement, with Walton County contributing $450,878 and Loganville paying the rest.
Schwartz said the city would cover its costs with funds from a bond Loganville issued when the city extended its wastewater treatment plant several years ago.
Both governments will be responsible for maintenance and repair to the new line on their respective portions, according to the agreement.