Sunday, April 27, 2008

Council to look at water-connection fee fix

By MICHAEL CASS • Staff Writer (Tennessean) • April 25, 2008 New business owners would get to spread out their payments for large water and sewer connection fees under legislation the Metro Council will take up next month. The bill, filed at the council office Friday by the Metro Law Department, aims to tweak a situation some water users have complained about recently. It would let entrepreneurs pay their "capacity fees" to hook up to the water system over 36 months instead of all at once. Some new restaurant owners have complained of capacity fees of as much as $42,000 - a potentially back-breaking expense for a start-up business. The fees took effect almost two years ago. Commercial water and sewer users with new connections and less than 5,000 gallons a day of average use would qualify for the installment payment plan. Residential users would not qualify. The proposal to spread out the payments is a short-term fix; Metro officials say reducing the connection fees would result in a general water rate increase for all customers.

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