What water fees and rates are charged for new construction homes? How do new construction fees help pay for water infrastructure?

Before any water fees are paid to the Town, a developer is first responsible for providing the water infrastructure (underground pipes) that extend water services throughout the subdivision. The cost of installing the new infrastructure is paid by the developer initially, and developers will typically recover their cost of installation in the sale price of the lot or home. Each new residential dwelling unit that is permitted is required to pay a water tap fee, currently $5,500. This is the capital cost of connecting to the Town’s water treatment and distribution system. Tap fees are used by the Town to pay for water treatment plant expansions, upgrades and new equipment necessitated to accommodate the impacts of new growth. Each new dwelling is also required to bring raw water to the Town (raw water is a term used to describe untreated water resources, such as water shares, rights or wells that can be accessed by the Town for treatment and distribution to residents). This is typically accomplished by paying a fee in-lieu of water dedication (pay a fee instead of providing the actual water resources) and is paid at the time a building permit is issued. The raw water fee is established based upon the cost of acquiring new water rights, and is currently $19,285.50. The Town uses these fees to purchase water shares or rights, or to lease water shares or rights for treatment and distribution. Once the water tap fee and the raw water fee are satisfied, a building permit is issued and the home builder pays the same residential water utility rates as residents until such time as the property is sold and the new home-buyer takes responsibility for the water utility fees. The water utility fees are used to pay for the cost of treating water and maintaining the water treatment and distribution systems.

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1. What is the average water usage per household in Wellington?
2. What would the rate increase by for the average household?
3. Is there going to be an increase in the tiering structure percentages from tier one to tier two?
4. What is the town doing with the bulk dispensing water machine?
5. When was the last time rates were increased?
6. What other options will the town pursue to handle the water issues with the increased development and growth?
7. What water fees and rates are charged for new construction homes? How do new construction fees help pay for water infrastructure?
8. Has the Town considered increasing the cost for developers and new houses?
9. Have you considered incentives for xeriscaping current homes and restrictions on landscaping with new builds?
10. Have you considered conducting a long-term plan that reflects our values and needs for growth and community life?
11. What kind of impact will the new high school/middle school have on the water issue?
12. What is the timeline for the water rates decision?
13. Are there other options such as joining another water district or starting our own?
14. How is the Town engaging residents to provide input on the proposed water rates?
15. Has the cost of our water gone up?
16. Will we be charged for 7,000 gallons regardless of how much water we use?
17. When is the water plant being built?
18. Why is the base rate increasing so much?
19. Why is it so expensive and why are there restrictions when other communities are not having the same problems?
20. Can we remove grass lawns to save water?
21. Where can we find an explanation of why rates are being increased?
22. Why isn’t there an option of just a $2-$3 increase starting in October?
23. Why aren’t developers charged more to develop in Wellington?