Taneytown defers vote on sewers Developer fees were proposed

October 13, 1992|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

The Taneytown city council last night deferred voting on an ordinance that would force developers to pay for sewer allocations before their building plans are approved.

City Manager Joseph Mangini has been pushing the plan for several months because, he says, there is no motivation for builders to develop their land and use the sewer allocations they reserve.

The city, regardless of how many sewer allotments are available, currently is obligated to provide sewer and water to the developer at any time.

Councilman Henry C. Heine Jr., who has opposed the ordinance since its introduction, rejected the proposal again last night because it imposes a fee that he said would only be passed on to people who purchase homes the developers build.

"I understand there is a need to get back the allocations, but I can't see putting a fee on the developer when he will just tack it onto the price of a house," Mr. Heine said.

He suggested amending the proposal to allow two "free years" and impose a stiff fee at the end of the second year on unused allocations.

Mr. Heine said the fee would force developers to either use the allocations or give back the unused portions, which he feels is the purpose of the ordinance.

"I can't see someone paying a fee on land he hasn't had a chance to build on," he said. "Let's give them a chance to build first and then force them to make a decision about what they want to do with the allocations."

Councilman Thomas J. Denike said he wanted more information about how other towns handle sewer allocations before he makes a decision on the proposed ordinance.

Mr. Mangini said he would get the information and give it to the council at its next meeting.

The proposed ordinance would require developers to reserve sewer allocations yearly, on a three- or five-year contractual basis, Mr. Mangini said.

After the third or fifth year, if the developer has not built on the land, the reserved allocations will be renewed and are placed back into the general pot of available allocations.

The developer will be placed on the bottom of a list of others wanting sewer allocation.

"Before this ordinance, people could sit on the allocations for 25 years without building anything, but the day they did, the city would have to provide them with water and sewer," Mr. Mangini said earlier.

The ordinance, introduced in June, was discussed for months as the council found problems with the amount, purpose, and collections of the fees connected to the reservation of sewer allocation.

Mr. Mangini said the ordinance would keep tabs on the amount of allocations it grants to builders.

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