GRU general manager responds to possible rate increase

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 7:14 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - GRU rates will soon rise after the Gainesville City Commission voted to pass a motion last night.

Today GRU’s general manager, Ed Bielarski spoke out about the vote.

He said there is more that goes into the raise than most people realize.

“You can’t compare a bill that has your electric, water, wastewater, as well as maybe garbage collection and stormwater charges. In that case, there are 7 services on our bill. GRU acts as a collection agent for a host of city services,” said Bielarski.

He said a big reason for the 7% rate increase is the variety of services GRU offers.

“We’ve reduced our expenses in critical areas, virtually to the bone,” said Bielarski. “In one of the charts we showed the commission was over the past two years we’ve increased our expenses on average of one half of 1% while inflation is growing at a much higher rate than that.”

Bielarski sent out a message to those frustrated with rising rates.

“You’re still paying less for the same amount for the standard 1,000 kW usage in a month that you were a decade ago.”

To better the environment, GRU has facilities that remove nitrogen from wastewater.

Bielarski said environmental initiatives such as that one are also contributors to the rising rates.

Related Story: “GRU has just about the highest rates in Florida”: Proposed GRU rate increase could have customers paying roughly $7 more a month

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