By Tim Fleischer Editor-in-Chief
The Village of Salado Wastewater Impact Fee Study Committee at their April 12 meeting adopted the final report prepared by HDR Engineering, Inc. and recommended an Impact Fee of $3,750 per Living Unit Equivalent (LUE).
The committee also recommended that the Village adopt a mechanism to allow the initial tie in customers when the sewer comes online to pay out the Impact Fee over a period of up to four years.
According to the Study, the LUE was determined to be an average of 100 gallons of water per day during the winter months. Furthermore, the study states that “For each potential customer, the average daily water use during the winter months (November through February) was determined.”
|Area Impact Fees|
|Liberty Hill*||$3500 R|
“Using the winter water average as a basis of determine impact fees only applies to the impact fee methodology,” according to the 19-page study. “At the time of this report, the basis for actual wastewater use billing has not been determined and may be some other factor such as actual water use.”
The five-member committee of Chairman Jay Ritch, Denver Mills, Joe Price, Ted Williamson and Jim Lassiter voted unanimously to adopt the study with its maximum recommended rate of $5,125 per LUE and to recommend the lower Impact Fee of $3,750. Aldermen are scheduled to take up the recommendations at their April 19 meeting.
Grady Reed of HDR Engineering told the committee that in a 10 year period, the LUEs will generate more than $2.2 million based upon the land use and growth calculations of the study.
The Impact Fees could be used to reduce the burden on taxpayers paying for the $10+ million sewer project. When collected, they will be kept in a separate fund from other income to the Village.
The Impact Fees will move some of the burden of the construction costs of the sewer system to the 137 initial users. The Village has a mandatory tie in for all property owners within the service area. Those initial users will also have other costs associated with tying in to the sewer, including the cost of connecting their individual property to the city’s sewer lines and the cost of decommissioning the existing septic and on-site treatment systems, which will vary from property to property.
Living Unit Equivalents Estimates
|Wastewater Services Area Connections and Living Unit Equivalents|
Property owners will have to hire licensed and registered contractors to decommission their on-site septic systems after they have connected to the sewer system. The time frame for decommissioning the septic system has not yet been set by the city.
To decommission a septic tank, the tank and its cover must be located. The tank must first be completely pumped by a certified licensed septic hauler. Then it can be either filled with gravel or sand or crushed completely. After it has filled or crushed, it will be inspected. Then the area can be backfilled and a final inspection completed.
“Retrofitting a sewer into a community is not cheap,” Village administrator Don Ferguson said. He oversaw the process in Wimberley.