Roswell city staff will soon hold two informational open house meetings about the potential of building a new water plant.
The meetings, to be held March 19, will allow city staff to make a brief presentation on water service improvements and answer questions about the new plant from the public.
Roswell’s current water plant is nearly 80 years old and needs to be replaced, according to the city. City staff has said an unimproved water plant will mean more swiftly rising production costs than if a new plant was built, which equates to higher water bills for the 5,600 water customers. The city has released an analysis which forecasts a new water plant, costing $15.9 million to build, will actually save Roswell water ratepayers $11.6 million over a 20-year period in water purchases from Fulton County, as well as repair and refurbishment costs needed for the old plant.
The city is proposing to obtain a 20-year Georgia Environmental Finance Authority loan to pay for the new facility. Because of Roswell’s current AAA bond rating the loan can be secured at a 1.13 percent interest rate. That rate, paired with financial savings from improvements to water services, shows water rates for Roswell water customers would only need to increase by $1 per month to assist in covering the remaining costs of building a new water plant, according to the city.
But not every one agrees with the plan. Some local residents have challenged the city's analysis and savings figures, wondering instead why the city is in the business of supplying water to local residents at all.