It's being heralded as good news. But it doesn't mean your water bills will be any lower any time soon. The AJC's Jeremiah McWilliams has a good rundown of the ruling's impact:
But residents hoping the city’s legal maneuvering would bring rate cuts or other relief will be disappointed. Top city officials, including Mayor Kasim Reed, have said rates are not expected to drop anytime before 2016. The city’s financial models call for rates to begin rising again after that.
Thrash’s decision does not free the city from serious financial challenges. Vacant properties, foreclosures and a slack economy have reduced the revenue collected from a 1 percent sales tax that funds sewer upgrades. The city’s Department of Watershed Management carries $3.2 billion in debt, largely to pay for the mandated improvements. Payments on that debt take up about 40 percent of the department’s annual budget. Because of the heavy debt load, credit markets are effectively closed to the city, Richardson said.
Meanwhile, Atlanta’s drinking water system, which draws less public attention than the sewer system, also needs hundreds of millions of dollars in upgrades and repairs.
At the hearing, a member of the Newly Organized Citizens Requesting Aquifer Protection, or NOCRAP, says, the judge also said Hal Wright, an attorney representing the group and several other environmental organizations could brief the court over the groups' concerns about Atlanta’s sewer tunnels. The groups say the city's five sewer tunnels are contaminating underground aquifers. In late August, NOCRAP sent Mayor Kasim Reed a letter arguing the city should obtain permits for the tunnels.
We reached out to the city's watershed department for its response to those claims and will update when we hear back.
"Let the Wingnut Circular Firing Squad fun begin!"
She's only awful in your myopic minds. She should be Guvnor now instead of the…
WTF does Benghazi and IRS have to do with city gummint?
But I'll hang…
I miss Billy McKinney and his switchblade.
Shut up and go home to Plains already.
What an asshole!
thanks for letting us in on your meticulous record of how little you care