The Harrodsburg City Commission voted to keep water and sewer tap fees and water tap charges and meter costs the same, but to charge applicants more for materials and time in some circumstances. The commission also accepted the resignation of Commissioner Ruth Ann Bryant and approved selling property which could become the home of a bronze statue of James Harrod.
At their regular meeting on Monday, March 28, the commission gave second reading to ordinance 2022-01, which covers water and sewer tap fees, and ordinance 2022-02, which covers water tap charges and meter costs. The two ordinances were given first reading on Jan. 24, and were tabled several times.
The commission voted to lower water and sewer tap fees back in 2019 with the goal of spurring new construction. However, in some instances, the city has been “selling taps at a substantial loss” according to language in the original proposed ordinances that has since been struck through.
At a meeting on Feb. 28, Commissioner Marvin “Bubby” Isham said the proposed increases 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. Installing the infrastructure necessary before a home could be connected has cost the city up to $3,800 in some cases, city officials say.
The ordinances given second reading this week keep fees largely the same, while stating that tap fees will be evaluated by the commission on July 1 of each year. The proposed pricing is based on providing water and sewer on the construction side.
“Any service required a bore under a street or a street cut will add an additional $400 to the cost per bore or cut: or time and materials plus 20 percent, whichever is less,” the ordinance reads.
“If you build a house where a sewer and water tap are necessary, you have to pay the tap plus material and costs,” explained Commissioner Isham Monday. “If a bore is necessary, it’s going to cost more than a standard tap.”
Isham asked potential applicants to call the city’s water maintenance department if they were unsure their home would need additional infrastructure to be added in order to be connected to city utilities. Both ordinances passed unanimously.