Approves Amended Architectural Review Ordinance
The Harrodsburg Board of Commissioners tabled a proposed increase in water and sewer tap fees as well as water tap charges and meter costs. The city commission also approved the architectural board ordinance.
This is the second time the ordinances to raise tap fees and meter costs has been tabled. On Jan. 24, the commission gave first reading to ordinance 2022-01, which would increase water and sewer tap fees, and ordinance 2022-02, which would increase water tap charges and meter costs.
The proposed ordinances were tabled without comment at the commission’s last meeting on Feb. 14 and again at the commission’s regular meeting on Monday, Feb. 28.
During discussion, Commissioner Marvin “Bubby” Isham said the current prices were sufficient.
“We need to leave it where it’s at,” Isham said.
The commission voted to lower water and sewer tap fees back in 2019.
The late Mayor Art Freeman said the move was necessary to spur new construction.
The rationale given in the text of the proposed ordinances is that the reduced fees caused “a substantial hardship” for the city in “obtaining supplies for maintaining a water and sewer systems.” According to the ordinance, the city has been “selling taps at a substantial loss,” which is prohibited by the state constitution.
On Monday, Isham said the proposed increase would penalize “everybody” when the city only loses money on a certain percentage of installations. He said he understood charging more if the city had to dig and install infrastructure.
“I would agree with that as long as we are charging the additional when we’re doing the additional labor,” said Commissioner Adam Johnson.
Installing the infrastructure necessary before a home could be connected has cost the city up to $3,800 in some cases, city officials say.
“That’s why we need to have those site evaluations,” said Mayor Billy Whitenack.
Commissioner Jennifer Kazimer said the only thing the city can currently charge extra for is a bore or a street cut. Kazimer recommended adding language for extra installation expenses other than those already covered under city ordinance.
City Attorney Norrie Currens said she’d prefer getting something written down so they could agree on the language. The commission tabled both ordinances.
They did give second reading to ordinance 2022-03, which amends the architectural review board ordinance. One of the big changes is the name of the board, which will now be the Harrodsburg Architectural Preservation Commission.
City Clerk Shavonna Huffman said the city is looking at creating a website to make the ordinance available to the public.