Aurora: City Council moves to drop tap fees

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From the Aurora Sentinel (Aaron Cole):

The Aurora City Council on Monday gave initial approval to a measure that would lower tap fees, or the cost to connect new homes to the city’s water system, for most builders in the city. Water officials said the new rates reflect a recalculated formula that anticipates each home’s demand on the system for the next 20 years based on data they’ve analyzed. An average new home in Aurora could cost nearly $8,000 less to connect if the measure passes Sept. 30.

Pieter Van Ry, manager of water engineering for the city’s water department, told the city council that the new formula would result in lower fees for most homebuilders. Currently new homebuilders pay $24,460 for a single-family detached home, regardless of size, to connect to the city’s water system. The new rate, if approved in September that would take effect Nov. 16, would be $16,428 for a 3- or 4-bathroom, single-family home on an 8,000 sq.-ft. lot. That fee would be further reduced by $1,000 if the home’s front yard is xeriscaped.

“The new rates equitably assess a fee based on their projected usage,” Van Ry said. “Every user under this proposal is responsible to pay for their own demand.”

In addition to single-family detached homes, Van Ry said the tap fees would be reduced for most commercial, single-family attached and multifamily homes as well. Mixed-use developments and industrial developments could see tap fee increases based on their usage. Parks and irrigated open spaces for HOAs could see an increase in tap fees for those areas, depending on the type of landscaping.

Van Ry and other city officials said the proposed decrease in tap fees would not affect the city’s water rates.

More Aurora coverage here and here.

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