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Chatham Seeks Public Input on Recommended Water System Development Fees

Post Date:04/18/2018 2:09 PM

The Chatham County Board of Commissioners will consider recommendations for revised water system development fees at an upcoming meeting and seek public input by June 2, 2018. The fees are collected to help pay for system improvements needed for new development. If approved, the fee for a basic residential meter would actually decrease a bit, but some fees for larger meters would increase.

A 2017 law passed by the North Carolina General Assembly gave statewide authority for local governments to charge development fees for water and sewer systems and clarified that the funds can only be used for system capital improvements.

As part of the new law’s provisions, Chatham County hired a consultant, TischlerBise, to conduct a new system development fee study as required by the new law. The study looked at projected growth in population and jobs, expected water demands, water system connections, and other factors. It also looked at the county’s future costs of the new regional water treatment facility on the western side of Jordan Lake.

This study is in draft form ready for public comment. After 45 days of public comment, the consultant will consider the public comments for possible adjustments to the calculated fees. The final draft of the fee study and recommended fee structure will be presented to the Board of Commissioners at the public hearing on June 18, 2018 at 6 PM in the Historic Courthouse in Pittsboro.

Chatham County urges people to submit written comments no later than June 2, 2018. You can submit comments online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ChathamWaterFees or by mail to:  Chatham County Public Works, P.O. Box 910, Pittsboro, NC 27312

The complete report with recommended fee structure can be found here:   CLICK HERE

water fees table

“We use these fees to defray the costs of water system facilities and improvements to serve new development and increase overall system capacity,” said Assistant County Manager Dan LaMontagne. “This is a critical funding source for a county growing as fast as Chatham.”

As an example, LaMontagne cited a regional partnership to build a new water treatment facility on the west side of Jordan Lake. ”We expect our share of phase one of this project to cost $77.3 million. Without the system development fees, we are not sure how we could proceed with this facility.”

Based on the study, TischlerBise has recommended a new fee structure for Chatham County. They recommend that the fee for the smallest water meters (5/8 X 3/4 inches) that typically serve homes and some small businesses be reduced two percent from $3,500 to $3,431. As to the larger water meter fees, some would go up and some would go down, depending on the meter size. See summary table this page.

If you still wish to speak at the June 18 public hearing, you can sign up at www.chathamnc.org/bocinput or contact Lindsay Ray at 919-542-8200.