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  • Writer's pictureTom Reilly

GRU Authority

GRU Authority holds off on vote of $15.3 million transfer, wants to discuss with city

Nora O'Neill

Gainesville Sun

The Gainesville Regional Utilities Authority board voted unanimously on Wednesday the 17th to meet with the city commission to discuss the potential impacts of dramatically reducing the amount of money given from the utility to the general government budget each year.

The authority was expected to make a decision that evening about the government services contribution (GSC) — a pot of money given to the city’s general budget from the utility each year. The GSC was decreased by 55.4% for fiscal year 2024, a reduction of $19 million, in order to help pay off some of the $315 million of GRU debt accrued over the years when the city commission was running GRU. The change, city commissioners say, will force the city to raise taxes, cut over 100 jobs and increase utility rates for next year.

A presentation shown to the board members at the meeting primarily focused on two recommendations from GRU staff: Cut the contribution in half, or slash it entirely.

Staff said the savings, up to $15.3 million for the utility, could be used to pay off some debt and offer relief to customers. Critics of the recommendation to cut the GSC, including city commissioners, the city manager and local groups, have warned that losing the GSC could force the city to make deep cuts.

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