Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mayor Franklin's Statement Regarding Department of Watershed Management’s Hearing at the State Planning and Community Affairs Committee

As one of the largest water utilities in the southeast, the City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management is constantly striving to effectively and efficiently maintain, manage and operate a water and wastewater system that serves more than a million customers. Over the past eight years, the Department has turned the corner on upgrading an aging water and wastewater infrastructure, and we will continue those efforts.

Commissioner Rob Hunter and I appreciated the opportunity to hear from Chairman Tommy Smith and others today and to share information about the strides we have made in the management of our system. It was also a chance to thank the General Assembly for its support over the years as Atlanta moves to improve not just our infrastructure, but our customer service as well. The City generates more than two million bills every year, and, with that number, there are bound to be issues -- many of which are due to leaks, running toilets, meter mis-reads and mere high usage, but some of which are due to mistakes on our part.

Aside from infrastructure work, like tunnel construction, sewer separation, sewer rehabilitation and water main replacement projects, the Department has made major improvements that include a new customer service call center, installation of new meters capable of being read remotely and facility upgrades in an effort to continue our efforts to become a Best Practice model.

We welcome the chance to hear the concerns of our customers, and we believe it is our solemn obligation to give our ratepayers the service they deserve. It is an obligation we take seriously.

- Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin
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