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Town proposes hook-up fee hikes

December 12, 2000

Town proposes hook-up fee hikes



By ANDREA BROWN-HURLEY / Staff Writer


WILLIAMSPORT - The Williamsport Town Council Monday proposed a hike in the town's sewer connection fee and a rate structure change for the water hook-up fee.

No town residents attended Monday's public hearing on the issue, which would affect only new construction projects within town limits.

Council members introduced an amendment to the town ordinance that would raise the sewer connection fee from $1,500 per tap to $1,500 plus the county rate per equivalent dwelling unit, or EDU.

The county currently charges the town a sewer connection fee of $2,750 per EDU.

The amendment would also change the rate structure for new water connections to $1,000 per EDU plus any county fees instead of a flat rate of $1,000 per meter.

Based on the present rate structure, for example, the town would collect a total of $2,500 - $1,500 for sewer and $1,000 for water - in connection fees for one building with four living units, Councilman Walter Tracy said.

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But the town would have to pay the county $11,000 for the sewer connection. Williamsport currently is not charged for water connection.

"Certainly the time has come for the council to consider bringing the connection fee in line so the town isn't losing money every time you pay the county," Town Attorney Edward Kuczynski said.

The town uses proceeds from connection fees to help fund improvements to its water and sewer systems, Kuczynski said.

The proposal to raise the rates stemmed from an expansion of senior housing to be built on five acres in Williamsport, Assistant Mayor James Black said.

The Washington County Housing Authority's Springfield Manor will require eight separate water and sewer hook-ups in 36 living units.

The Town Council in August denied the Housing Authority's request to waive the water and sewer connection fees at Springfield Manor. In essence, the county Housing Authority was asking the town to waive $20,000 in fees and pay the county Water and Sewer Department $99,000 in fees, Town Clerk Donna Spickler said.

"It was going to cost us an arm and a leg," Black said.

Council members will decide in January whether to pass the text amendment.

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