County looks ahead to San Juan County sewer additions, raises fees accordingly
by Jacque Garcia
The Times-Independent
Apr 12, 2018 | 695 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print

The Grand Water and Sewer Service Agency held a board meeting on Thursday, April 5, voting to change county wastewater impact fees. A new calculation system was approved, establishing new fees based on water usage rather than meters.

“GWSSA does a review of impact fees periodically,” said Manager Dana Van Horn. “The culinary water impact fees were updated in June of 2016. The analysis changes based on several factors including growth rate, prior debt and planned projects. It is a best practice to review the fees every six years or so.”

Impact fees are based on a measure called an equivalent residential connection (ERC), determined either through water meter size or an engineered water usage chart. At the meeting, the board also voted to return to a system of calculating fees on water usage charts rather than meters.

“It is very similar to Moab City’s chart and should help with continuity for our customers,” Van Horn said. “It’s as simple as that,” board member Rex Tanner added. “We’re going back to the way it was before.”

For citizens looking to connect to the sewer line, the impact fee will increase from $1,952.67 to $2,039, an increase of $86.33 per typical single-family residence. The board also initiated an impact fee for customers in San Juan County in the amount of $1,755.

The fees will begin officially on July 5 of this year.

“Presently, there are no San Juan County customers on GWSSA sewer,” Van Horn explained as to why there is no prior legislation in relation to San Juan impact fees. “All San Juan residents are on septic systems. San Juan County’s wastewater will run through part of GWSSA’s collection system, then on to Moab City’s collection system and finally to the regional wastewater treatment facility.”

However, that is set to change, Van Horn clarified, saying, “San Juan is in the process of building their own collection system and connecting to GWSSA. San Juan will have written agreements with both GWSSA and Moab City prior to connection to our systems.”

The agency is also considering increasing the fees that allow access to their hydrant water.

“Our stationary hydrant is used by water haulers all over the valley. Moab also has a stationary hydrant at their shop that customers may use. At this time we charge less than Moab for the hydrant water,” said Van Horn.

Currently, Moab charges $7.75 per thousand gallons of water, and the county agency charges $5.50.

“We will hold a public hearing on April 26 to have the board consider changing our fee schedule to get closer to the city’s rates,” Van Horn explained. “A notice will be mailed to every hydrant customer to notify them of the public hearing. No other rates are under consideration for increases.”

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