On Monday, Aug. 20, the Pima County Board of Supervisors voted to amend the Pima County Code regarding sanitary sewer connection fees. The Board of Supervisors changed the methodology to create a more equitable system based on water meter size rather than on the number of fixture units. This new fee structure applies retroactively to May 15, 2012, when the connection fee changes were adopted, and in most cases will result in a reduction of sewer connection fees.
Residential and commercial property owners who paid connection fees earlier this year will also benefit. The County will implement procedures for issuing connection fee refunds for the difference between the fee paid and the new fee calculation for customers who paid connection fees between May 15 and June 30, 2012. In addition, credits toward future connection fees will be issued to applicants who paid connection fees between Jan. 1, 2012, and May 14, 2012. The credits will be worth 50% of the difference between the fee paid and the new fee calculation. The refunds and credits will only be issued to customers who complete an application.
This ordinance change will reduce new residential sewer connection fees an average of 35 percent. The ordinance will also benefit existing homeowners who will not have to pay additional connection fees when they add new plumbing fixtures to their properties. The business community also will benefit from the change. Companies that expand or change their property use will no longer pay a fee, provided they use their existing water meter.
Metropolitan Pima Alliance Executive Director Amber Smith remarked, “This is one of the most significant, positive changes the local land use industry has seen in many years. Creating a more equitable fee system will pay dividends into our local economy.”