League to hold forum on water

CONYERS -- The Rockdale/Newton League of Women Voters will host a forum Tuesday to address local concerns of water service in Rockdale County.

The forum will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Rockdale Career Academy auditorium, located at 1064 Culpepper Drive. Rockdale Water Resources Director Dwight Wicks and Water and Sewerage Authority Chairwoman Elaine Nash are scheduled to give a presentation followed by a question and answer session.

Ellene Eatman, president of the Rockdale/Newton County League of Women Voters, said the base rate increase for RWR customers last year and plans to upgrade the system led her organization to schedule a public forum to give residents a chance to learn more about the county's water and sewer utility.

"We're looking for an update. With a new system in place we wanted to know how it's working and how it's affecting the community," Eatman said. "The community needs to know more about the rates and overall just more information on the water department and authority. We hope the community will be enlightened."

Eatman added that problems with billing at the first of the year was another concern. She hoped Wicks and Nash could talk about what has been done to fix those billing issues.

RWR officials acknowledged problems with installation of its new billing and maintenance software in December and notified customers of delayed billing for January and December. Many customers were taken aback by the sudden increase in their water bills, along with others who reported errors in their billing amounts.

RWR officials said they have been working with customers with credits and that the amount of billing errors were small. The billing cycle for many customers was expected to return to normal in March.

This will be the second forum of the year the local League of Women Voters chapter has planned. Eatman said more forums will be held later year, including a candidates' forum as the July 20 Primary Election approaches.

For more information on the League of Women Voters, call Eatman at 678-413-9650, or Diane Shockey at 678-615-7598.