Developers of new projects in Dayton will now have to pay their fair share for tapping into the City of Dayton’s water and wastewater systems. Dayton City Council, at the May 17 regular meeting, formally adopted a new Water and Wastewater Impact Fee schedule that will pass on a maximum of $11K in fees.
The idea is that growth should pay for growth, explained City Manager Theo Melancon.
“We want the new growth to pay its share of the costs for expanding our water and wastewater systems. We do not want our current residents and businesses subsidizing developers so they can make more money on their bottom line,” he said.
Melancon said the measure will also “separate the wheat from the chaff,” meaning that serious developers who plan to invest in Dayton will stand out from dubious developers who are looking to turn a quick profit at the City’s expense.
“If someone is going to invest in our community, then they are going to put in a project that is worthy and they won’t fight the impact fees,” he said.
Current water and wastewater customers in the City will not be impacted.
“It’s not for an old house that is being remodeled. That house should already have water and sewer service. If you tear down your house and build another one in its place, you will not be impacted because you already have the services,” Melancon said. “However, if you have a one-unit property and you replace it with a four-unit property, then you will be impacted.”
The maximum Water Impact Fee is $4,504 and the maximum Wastewater Impact Fee is $6,595. The fees collected will go toward capital improvements, such as water and sewer lines, and water towers.
Texas Local Government Code Chapter 395 identifies the following items as impact fee eligible costs:
• Construction contract price
• Surveying and engineering fees
• Land acquisition costs
• Fees paid to the consultant preparing or updating the capital improvements plan
• Projected interest charges and other finance costs for projects identified in the capital improvements plan
The fees cannot be used for repairs, operations or maintenance of existing or new capital improvements; upgrading, updating, expanding or replacing existing capital improvements to serve the existing development; administrative and operating costs of a political subdivision; or construction, acquisition or expansion of public facilities other those identified on the capital improvements plan.
Before setting the fees, the City hired the firm of Friese and Nichols to conduct a Water and Wastewater Impact Study. The study compiled a list of benchmark cities, including Krum in Denton County, Magnolia in Montgomery County, League City in Galveston County, among a dozen others, that collect impact fees.
According to the study, the benchmark cities have the following impact fees:
- Krum – $11,166
- Magnolia – $10,512
- League City – $7,668
- Pearland – $6,477
- Fulshear – $5,750
- Tomball – $5,545
- Richwood – $5,351
- Seabrook – $5,050
- Shenandoah – $4,484
- Alvin – $4,350
- Friendswood – $4,227
- Manvel – $3,950
- Mont Belvieu – $3,721
- Baytown – $3,524
- Webster – $3,217
The City of Dayton opted for the higher end of the impact fee range because most of the benchmark cities are set to revise or update their impact fees within the next 1-4 years.
Prior to the May 17 vote to approve the impact fees, two public hearings were held.