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Time for Clayton to get out of the water business

As a Clayton resident and a leader of the bi-partisan Rabun County Coalition for Good Government, we demand that our elected officials end this toxicity between city and county and seriously sit down together to resolve the SDS and water-wars.

I was alarmed when I read the Sept. 4, 2018 report by John Hewitt on the status of Clayton’s water. The report cited that the city is losing 57.1 percent of its water and “losses of this magnitude are shocking” and that “the city must purchase 2.33 gallons of water for each gallon it sells.” Mr. Hewitt stated “water rate increases are needed to cover costs, debt service… and generate needed cash for operations and reserves.”

The report also stated that 57 percent of the city’s water revenues come from customers OUTSIDE the city limits. Recommendations to resolve issues: “grow by aggressively seeking customers outside its customer base” and increase water rates approximately 4.5 percent each year for the next 4-5 years!

Clayton is not serving its citizens or its “customers” outside of Clayton, only the bureaucracy and employees of Clayton. The Coalition for Good Government recently sent letters to the city of Clayton and the county asking that the two government entities work together for the common good to resolve the SDS and the water wars. The Coalition recommends that the county and city begin the process of water consolidation to be spread out over several years.

It is time for Clayton to get out of the water business and focus on the business of caring for its citizens.

— Carolee Williams, Rabun Republican Chair, Rabun County Coalition for Good Government