The Albany City Council has approved an increase in wastewater and water system development charge fees, effective July 1.
These fees are collected from new construction projects and are intended to cover in part the costs for increased use of city streets, water systems and other infrastructure.
In February, the council adopted a wastewater and water update to the fee methodology that permitted the increase voted on during its meeting on Wednesday.
“Adopting the methodology reports does not adopt the specific fee to charge and that’s what we’re doing tonight,” Assistant City Engineer Robert Emmons told councilors.
The methodology report identified a maximum allowable fee of $7,180 for wastewater system development charges. Staff recommended a fee of $4,481. Emmons said that fee should be phased in over five years. Wednesday's vote approved only the first year of the phase-in. Staff members will have to come before the council each subsequent year to implement additional increases.
The current wastewater system development charge fee is $3,330. The first-year increase would take the fee to $3,560.
The current water system development charge fee is $2,690. The first year phase in increase brings the fee to $2,857. The final fee at the end of five years will be $3,523.
At the February public hearing, the council heard comments about system development charge financing and deferment. According to Emmons, the city offers financing with an interest rate of 6.55 percent.
“It’s higher than what folks can obtain in the private market. That interest rate is not set in stone, it can be adjusted by council. That program is there; it’s not used very much but it’s there,” he said.
The city doesn’t have a program for deferment. System development charge fees are due and payable upon issuance of a building permit.