In the wake of higher construction costs, the Covington City Council is considering an increase to the fees charged for the installation of new water and sewer taps.
"The cost of maintaining and building new water and sewer systems is going up which is why we have to make sure we're recovering costs," said City Manager Steve Horton. "[For] some of the larger complexes, it's no longer financially viable for us to continue to charge those on a flat rate when the cost of water capacity or sewer capacity is going up."
According to Billy Bouchillon, director of the city's Public Works Department, under the current water fee rates, new developments are charged $1,980 for a three-fourth inch meter, $2,118 for a 1-inch meter and $2,310 for a 2-inch meter or anything greater.
Under the proposed new water tap rates, developers would be charged $2,225 for a three-fourth inch meter, $3,859 for a 1-inch meter, $12,150 for a 2-inch meter, $26,500 for a 3-inch meter and $47,750 for a 4-inch meter. Developers will also be required to install all meters larger than 2-inches.
"If you look around at some of the surrounding counties and water systems, we're still going to be on the low side," Bouchillon said. "It's just the cost of doing business."
Under the current rates for sewer tap fees, developers are charged $3,300 for a three-fourth inch meter, $3,520 for a 1-inch meter and $3,740 for a 2-inch meter or anything greater.
Fees for sewer taps under the proposed rates will be $3,600 for a three-fourth inch meter, $6,520 for a 1-inch meter, $19,700 for a 2-inch meter, $42,950 for a 3-inch meter and $77,300 for a 4-inch meter.
"We need people to pay on their usage," Horton said. "That's basically what's happening with the tap fee. Those higher users will be charged on the actual capacity."
Bouchillon said private residences typically use the three-fourth inch water meter and that the city rarely sees developments requiring more than a 2-inch water meter.