GUC holding hearing on mandated fee change
By Ginger Livingston
The Daily Reflector
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
State mandated changes in development fees are the subject of a public hearing scheduled for Thursday’s Greenville Utilities Commission meeting.
GUC’s capacity and acreage fees is being replaced with a system development fee that the General Assembly mandated last year, said Chris Padgett, GUC’s chief administrative officer.
All are variations of upfront fees paid by developers of residential, commercial and industrial projects to cover costs associated with extra water and sewer usage.
The General Assembly mandated a statewide system development fee standard be implemented after developers complained that utility providers across North Carolina have differing rules and fees for connecting new developments into existing water and sewer systems.
The new development fee standardizes the rules and methods for fee calculation.
“Our goal is to make it a revenue neutral proposition,” Padgett said. “It’s not a dollar for dollar match because the methodology the state gave us to use is different from what was used previously. It’s not an apples to apples comparisons but we’ve been able to get it pretty close.”
The new fee is being adopted as part of GUC’s fiscal year 2018-19 budget and will go in effect on July 1. The public hearing on GUC’s proposed budget is scheduled for June 14 and will be held during the Greenville City Council meeting. Padgett said GUC’s board is holding a separate public hearing on the development fee because the state law that created it said it should hold a hearing.
“We’ve shared this information with the development community and we’ve had a meeting with them to share the ins and outs with the development community,” Padgett said. Although it’s different formula, it’s effectively revenue neutral so Padgett said he doesn’t think it will be too controversial.