A detailed study of utility rates and charges is conducted every five years to ensure utility revenue is meeting, and not exceeding, the financial needs of the water, sewer, and stormwater utilities. Although a full review of rates and charges is not scheduled until late 2015 or early 2016, recent growth in the form of new mixed-use and multifamily development has introduced the need to update existing buy-in fees and policies to ensure equity among commercial, multi-family and single family rate payers.
A “buy-in fee” is the amount charged to new development in order to reimburse the City’s utilities for a proportionate share of past and future utility improvements designed to serve development.)
With the increase of mixed-use development in the Town Center, the City contracted with a firm to review what, if any, adjustments should be made to water and sewer utility rates and fees for mixed uses. The firm recommended a series of changes for that classification of customesr, which the City Council reviewed on June 16.
The City Council gave direction to City staff to prepare an ordinance with the following:
- Add a mixed-use classification for water and sewer rates;
- Require new mixed-use developments to meter uses (i.e., residential and commercial) separately;
- Update buy-in factors for 3-inch and 4-inch water meters being used for new development;
- Correction of an error related to the assessment of capital connection fees for residential fire sprinkler systems.