West Jefferson increases water and sewer tap fees

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(Posted May 6, 2020)

By Josephine Birdsell, Staff Writer

On May 4, West Jefferson village council approved significant increases to its tap fees for water and sewer services.

Tap fees are one-time charges for new construction projects tapping into utilities the village provides. The cost depends on the size of the line and the type of development using the line.

Previously, the tap fee for a 3/4-inch water line for single-family residential use was $2,000. Now, it is $3,500. In the same scenario, the tap fee for sewer went from $3,000 to $4,500.

The tap fee for a 3/4-inch water line for commercial or industrial use went from $3,500 to $6,125. The tap fee for the same size sewer line for the same use went from $4,500 to $6,750.

The village’s tap fees were last increased in 2013 and were low compared to other municipalities in the area, according to John Mitchell, West Jefferson’s director of public service. Now, the fees are comparable to those charged by Hilliard, Westerville and other nearby cities and villages, he said.

Council approved the new rates not only to bring them in line with other municipalities, but also to cover the cost of recent upgrades and repairs to the village’s water and wastewater plants and collection and distribution systems.

The village has invested between $5 million and $6 million in each of the two plants, Mitchell said, and is looking to build a million-gallon water tank at a cost of $1.25 million to $1.5 million.

In other business, council assigned zoning to two parcels of land at the Jefferson Local Schools high school/middle school complex. The school district plans to construct a new multipurpose athletic facility on the property.

Previously, there was no record of a zoning classification for the parcels at 681 W. Jefferson-Kiousville Rd, and 1 Roughrider Dr. Based on the recommendation of West Jefferson’s Planning and Zoning Commission, council approved a designation of Planned Unit Development for both parcels.

Construction of the athletic facility is projected to begin after the next village council meeting on May 18 and will last through the summer.

The 19,200 square-foot building will feature turf flooring that can be used by athletic teams and the marching band.

“A lot of sporting groups that typically would be outside in unfavorable weather will benefit,” said Robert Hiss, the school district’s director of operations.

Funding for the athletic facility will come entirely from private donations.

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