Sweeping changes in city water rates and hookup fees were approved last weeek by the Kaysville City Council to head off future water shortages and discourage using drinking water on lawns and gardens.
The five-point plan was unveiled Aug. 10 in a public hearing attended by the council and a single Kaysville resident, who voiced approval of the proposed changes.The changes were approved unanimously by the City Council.
"I expect we'll hear from the developers later when they get word of it," said Mayor Gerald Purdy, referring to proposed increases in hookup fees and building permits.
City Manager John Thacker said restrictions on outside water use are voluntary in Kaysville this summer, but unless the city expands its storage and transmission system, they could become mandatory next year.
The city has an ample supply of treated, culinary water available, Thacker said, but needs to upgrade its ability to store the water and get it to residents. The city also needs to encourage more use of secondary, or irrigation water for outside use instead of pouring expensive drinking water on yards and gardens, he said.
Purdy said the city has been studying its water system and rates for several years, dealing with floods in 1983 and now, only five years later, a drought. He also pointed out the city was paying $42 an acre foot for culinary water six years ago, is paying around $70 for the same amount now, and new water shares are up to $130 an acre foot, an amount the city projects could go to $300 by the year 2005.
Under the new rate structure, residential monthly water fees increase from $8 for the first 10,000 gallons to $10, with an additional $1 per 1,000 gallons a month over that.
The city's hookup, or impact fee, increases drastically. The city charged between $200 and $500 for residences and businesses to hook up to the water system, depending on the size of the waterline.
That scale has increased, with residential impact fees going to $500 minimum and the largest hookup, a 10-inch line, pegged at $75,000. According to City Engineer Lee Cammack, the most common hookup sizes for businesses, schools, and churches is 2- or 3-inch line. Increased fees for those would run $3,125 for a 2-inch connection and $6,875 for a 3-inch connection.
The money from the higher impact fees will be set aside to help pay for a new three million gallon storage tank on Kaysville's east side - the city's fourth tank - and other improvements in the delivery system, Thacker said.
The tank and improvements, estimated to cost $1.5 million, will be needed in three to five years, Thacker said, adding that even with the increased fees, he believes the city will have to bond for the rest of the funds.
To further encourage use of irrigation water, the city will now charge residents more for exceeding the 10,000-gallon minimum usage level in areas where secondary water is available.
Instead of paying $1 per 1,000 gallons over the minimum, those residents will pay $1.50 per 1,000 gallons up to 20,000 gallons per month, and $3 per 1,000 gallons over that.
With the city's old rate structure, Thacker said, it was cheaper to use culinary water on lawns and gardens than to pay the $300 hookup fee for irrigation water. The new rates give residents a financial incentive to hook up to the irrigation water where it's available, he said.
And, the city is continuing negotiations with irrigation and canal companies to bring secondary water into areas where it is not currently available, the mayor said. Those negotiations are nearing success, he said.
Thacker said a study of other cities along the Wasatch Front shows the new rates in Kaysville are reasonable and within range of other communities.
Richard Strong, 967 N. Kingswood Road, was the sole resident at the hearing. He said the proposals are reasonable and the city needs to gear up for growth and to protect its drinking water supply.