FORSYTH, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) -- The city of Forsyth is trying to figure out a way to get out of debt.
As of today, the city owes about $430,000 in unpaid bills, but right now, the mayor and council say, there's not enough cash coming in to break even.
"I think we need to make some tough decisions that nobody wants to make and those decisions revolve around the services we own and operate," said Mayor Howard.
"The problem is that the cash flow is in terrible shape," said Mike Dodd, Forsyth City Council.
Dodd says a lot of the money troubles came from unexpected project costs. Fixing an old sewage line on Lee Street cost a lot more money than estimated.
"Once they got in there. It was a lot worst than anticipated, so the cost went from $160,000 to $400,000," said Dodd.
Dodd doesn't believe increasing rates for citizens is the solution.
"I mean it's serious this is serious right now. It's critical but it's not terminal. We can fix it but we've got to do some significant cuts," said Dodd.
Cuts have already started. Councilman Melvin Lawrence says the city recently privatized it's trash services.
"That's going to save us money that we pay the Georgia Department of Corrections.
Dodd and Lawrence believe that will help revenue pick up, but right now, there's no rainy day fund to fall back on.
"That is one of the biggest problems is that we have no money in reserves to do anything with," said Howard.
Howard says it's time to explain to the citizens why he feels rate increases are necessary.
"You gotta show look this is what it's costing us. It's their money, so why not? So this is what we're going to have to charge you to stay above water, but that's something we don't do," said Howard.
This year electric rates were increased by a couple of dollars a month per household, but the city administrator told me that was just enough to help break even. He says it's been years since council voted to raise rates on city services across the board.
Council is in a budget meeting Tuesday night to begin searching for a solution. Dodd and Lawrence say the city has been in similar situations in the past, and has always pulled through.