"The problem is you're not making enough money to avoid a loss when you take into account the fact no money is being accumulated for future replacements and losses of [water service equipment]," City Engineer John Sweitzer said during the regular city council meeting.
The vote comes months after a city audit that showed the city lost $150,000 in depreciation values in the past year.
According to the water rate adjustments, inside city residential customers will see their bill increase 10 percent; inside city commercial customers will see their bill increase 15 to 17 percent; outside city residential customers will see their bill increase 18 percent; outside city commercial customers will see their bill increase 19 percent.
Sweitzer said the reason why the increase is higher for customers outside of the city is due to the amount of Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds the city receives from the county for water and sewer projects.
"A lot of your maintenance and replacement and expansion of your water system is paid for by SPLOST dollars and the citizens who live [in the city limits] determine how much money you get, it's based on population," Sweitzer said. "...You don't get the advantage with outside customers to make SPLOST go up."
The city also approved water conservation surcharges applicable to all customers, consisting of three tiers for what Sweitzer said he considered greater than average water usage.
The first tier has customers using between 6,000 and 9,000 gallons per month pay 125 percent of the base rate; tier two has customers using between 9,000 and 16,000 gallons per month pay 150 percent of the base rate; tier three has customers using more than 16,000 gallons per month pay 200 percent of the base rate.
Sweitzer also suggested the city raise sewer rates due to the city of Cartersville -- which provides sewer water treatment for White -- increasing their treatment fees by 5 percent. However, a second motion to raise the rate failed.
"The debt ceiling has been reached," councilmember Dennis Huskins said jokingly.
In other city of White news, the council approved a resolution to adopt the National Incident Management system and changed the date of September's regular meeting to Sept. 6.