City approves water rate hike

COVINGTON -- The Covington City Council approved the final reading of a water rate increase at its May 21 meeting.

Rates have increased from $16 to $16.60 for the first 3,000 gallons used, a minimum charge. The charge for usage of 3,0001 to 50,000 gallons has increased from $5.15 to $5.45 per 1,000 gallons. Usage over 50,000 gallons has increased from $5.35 to $5.70 per 1,000 gallons. Sewer rates remain at $6 per 1,000 gallons.

This will be the third increase in as many years, all attributed by officials to an increase in the wholesale rate by the county.

In other news, the council granted a special use permit for an AAMCO transmission and car care facility at the entrance to the Cottage Links at Corrydell subdivision, at the former site of GoodYear Tire. The subdivision is a senior citizen community and several residents wrote letters to the Department of Planning and Zoning in opposition of the special use permit.

Resident Pat Buchanan came to the City Council meeting to voice concerns over the noise that would be generated, noting that GoodYear merely did work on tires, but this facility would work on transmissions. Several others wrote letters in favor of the business, however, including Linda Roberts, beautification chair of the neighborhood, who said it would generate needed revenue for the city and county and the lighting would offer the neighborhood needed security.

The council also approved a special use permit for another auto shop at 8251 U.S. Highway 278, on the vacant lot at the Waffle House and intersection with Ga. Highway 142. The site will be a relocation spot for the Midas Auto Repair Shop located just down the road.

Also, the city approved bids for its lawn care and maintenance contract and the supplier of fireworks for the Fourth of July celebration.

G&G Landscape Management out of Conyers was once again selected as the lawn care provider at a cost of $2,950 per year. Gresham Landscape Management in Covington was the low bidder at $2,750, but G&G was selected based on staff recommendation because the company has more employees and more equipment and has done a good job with the service.

The council also approved a bid for the Fourth of July fireworks by Pyrotecnico at a cost of $7.065.

Finally, the council approved attorney Ben Hendricks as a back-up Municipal Court judge and Steven Hathorne was sworn in as the new judge.