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Sussex water, sewer connection fees set

Jan. 15, 2013

Village of Sussex -The Great Recession along with a depressed real estate market has resulted in residential developers and homeowners paying lower fees to connect to municipal water and sewer, according to village officials.

The Village Board has approved sewer reserved capacity assessments of approximately $6,393, about $770 lower than the existing fee of $7,163. The water system reserved capacity assessment per home will be $1,863 which is about $192 lower than the existing fee of $2,055.

Village Administrator Jeremy Smith explained that reserved capacity assessments is a legal term for how much it will cost a homeowner or developer to connect to water and sewer in the future as part of new construction of a home.

The reserve capacity is the amount of expansion added to an existing system to serve anticipated future sewer or water needs. Smith explained that when sewer and water facilities are expanded, they are always designed to meet anticipated future demand as well as existing capacity. The reason, he explained, it because it is not practical to add onto sewer and water facilities after they had been built.

Smith explained that when water capacity or a sewer treatment facility is expanded, it must be sized to include anticipated future needs as well as existing needs because it is not practical to add on to sewer and water facilities after they had been built.

The difference between what it cost to improve the systems to meet existing needs and the cost to build to future needs represents the assessment that will be paid by homeowners and developers for future connections.

Smith explained that the existing fees were estimates based on 2006 construction and economic data. The Great Recession that begin in 2008 and the depressed real estate market that followed resulted in lower estimates for future years.

"Those estimates may be higher the next time we do an estimate," he explained.

These fees do not apply to existing homeowners who have already connected to village sewer and water.

In addition to fees to connect to sewer and water systems, home and business owners must also pay fees to use the systems. Real estate tax dollars are generally not used to pay for utility services.

The sanitary sewer system has assets totaling $27.5 million including a 2009 expansion of the sewage treatment facility. The municipal water systems which includes seven wells and three towers has assets totaling $16 million.

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