City commissioners approve GRU budget with utility rate increases
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - City commissioners have approved a nearly half a billion dollar budget for Gainesville Regional Utilities.
During a city meeting on Thursday, the commission voted to approve $463 million in the fiscal year of 2023 for GRU. The budget includes rate increases for electric and wastewater services but no increases for natural gas or water.
Officials claim the average residential customer’s bill will increase by less than $5 a month. In recent months, the utility has faced criticism from community groups after bills increased considerably for many customers during the summer.
The city is gradually increasing electric and wastewater rates through 2027 in an effort to rebuild reserves and pay down debt. The commission also says they plan to reduce the general fund transfer from GRU to the city budget by $2 million every year through 2027. In the fiscal year 2023, GRU will transfer $34.2 million to the city.
“This year’s budget puts us in a position to continue providing essential services to the community at the high level they expect and deserve,” said interim General Manager Tony Cunningham. “It will be exciting to see the positive impact upgrades to our metering technology have on customers over the next couple of years.”
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