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Tapping fee approved by Borough Council

May 29, 2002|by STACEY DANZUSO

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - After more than four years of discussion, Chambersburg Borough Council passed an ordinance Tuesday that requires developers to pay a fee to tap into the borough's water and sewer system for new construction.

The ordinance does not go into effect until Jan. 1 to give developers time to work the new fee into their contracts.

"I think it was the right decision to make, and it will help add some stability to the water and sewer capital fund," Council President Bill McLaughlin said.

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For new residential development, the fees will average about $3,035 to connect to the borough's water and sewer system, said Eric Oyer, borough manager.

The borough also will levy the fee on commercial and industrial development at different rates. For example, shopping centers can't use a single connection - each business must be charged separately, Borough Solicitor Tom Finucane said.

The revenue from the fee will be used for future capital improvements, such as possibly breaching or rebuilding the borough's Birch Run Dam.

Had the borough had the fee in place a decade ago, it could have brought in about $2 million from residential development alone for capital improvements and it would not have been necessary to borrow for the current water project, including building a new water main, Oyer said.

The Council has discussed tapping fees since at least 1998, when a study outlined what rates the borough could charge based on state guidelines.

The borough will charge the maximum it is allowed, but it is still competitive with surrounding municipalities, said Carl Rundquist, the borough's water and sewer superintendent.

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