Sealy approves impact fees

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Sealy will now start assessing impact fees on new development, essentially requiring developers to pay for water and wastewater hook-ups.

The unanimous decision was made Dec. 12 following a presentation the day prior delivered by Grant Rabon of NewGen, the company that conducted the city’s rate study. Mayor Janice Whitehead was not present and the meetings were presided over by Mayor Pro Tem Sandra Vrablec.

A sewer impact fee could be up to $4,000, depending on the formula chosen by the city council, Rabon explained. A revenue credit method and a 50 percent recovery method – which ultimately was approved by the council – were presented.

“If you were to utilize the 50 percent credit method, you’d be looking at around $4,400 combined water and wastewater impact fees,” Rabon said.

The council determined at an October meeting that it wants to proceed with the following projects:

• Extension along Interstate 10 - $4.6 million

• Extension along F.M. 3538 - $2.2 million for sewer; $874,590 for water

• Extension along Highway 36 South - $668,709 for sewer; $369,795 for water

• Extension along Highway 36 North - $1.5 million for sewer; $926,170 for water

• Extension along F.M. 2187 - $3.4 million for sewer; $3.4 million for water

The city can do whatever projects it wants to do, but those five projects will be included in the impact fee tabulation over a five-year period, Rabon explained.

“It’s not uncommon to set the impact fee based on a single-family residential connection and then the utility can work to assess that to different projects as they come up,” he said. “It’s largely looking at the demands that are being placed on the system by that new customer. The impact fee is adopted at a certain level, a dollar amount. It is at the discretion of the city council to change that fee or waive that fee.”

New development is being targeted, said Assistant City Manager Warren Escovy.

City Manager Lloyd Merrell said the 50 percent recovery method is the “cleanest” way to proceed.

“I’ve talked to some different communities,” he said. “It is cleaner; it is also more consistent.”

No one addressed council on the matter during the Dec. 12 public hearing.

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