New Windsor plans to raise fees for water, sewer hookup

August 09, 1993|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

New Windsor residents will not have to worry about paying the cost of town development.

The town plans to increase water and sewer connection fees to pay for capital improvements needed to accommodate new developments.

Existing properties will be exempt from the increases.

"There is a pervading belief by current town residents that they are paying for the developments, and we need to reassure them that that is not what is happening," Mayor Jack A. Gullo Jr. said.

Among the projects town government must undertake as a result of the development boom are finding another water source and upgrading the existing sewer and water treatment systems.

"Development is going to have an impact on the system, no matter how much we upgrade," the mayor said. "This is a case where those that are causing the impact should pay for the improvements."

At its monthly meeting on Wednesday, the Town Council proposed increasing the sewer hookup fee to $1,500 from $1,000.

The council also proposed raising the water connection charge to $2,500 from $1,000 for anyone who wants town service.

The sewer fee increase had been suggested and approved more than a year ago, but the council had never completed the steps necessary to implement the measure, Mr. Gullo said.

"I was reading the minutes from the meetings over the last three years when I noticed that during the May 6, 1992, meeting, a motion was made to increase the sewer hookup fee," he said. "It was seconded and carried, but was never followed through."

To become law, a proposed amendment must be read in its final form and accepted by the council. The amendment is then advertised by the town and goes into effect 45 days after it is proposed.

Town Attorney Marker J. Lovell said he will proceed as if the amendment had just been introduced, "to avoid any confusion."

Both amendments are expected to be read at the next council meeting and advertised shortly after.

"The town is in charge of building these things. Maintenance and creation are inherently a government function," Mr. Gullo said. "We need to have the money to complete these tasks."

The increase had been factored into an estimate that shows how much the town will take in for capital improvements, Mr. Gullo said.

"We stand to take in about $1 million and the improvements will cost a little less than that to build," he said. "I believe we are supposed to have a little left over for maintenance."

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