Dayton connection fee hikes approved

Builders and developers in Dayton are willing to pay more for their sewer and water connections, as long as the county postpones when those fees are due.

The Lyon County Commission voted Thursday to approve increasing the fees in Dayton and Mound House, after the county comptroller assured them that he would bring back to the board a companion proposal that would wait until building permits are applied for before requiring the fees to be paid.

Previously, fees had to be paid when the final map was recorded.

"As growth has slowed, developments are building smaller projects," Foli said, adding that smaller projects made collecting the fees later more realistic.

The connection fee for water service will nearly double, from $2,021 to $4,303, and the connection fee for sewer service will go up from $9,183 to $9,616. The new fees will take effect Jan. 6.

Lyon County Utilities Director reminded the commission that it wasn't very long ago that then-Dayton Utilities served about 1,000 people.

"Less than four years ago, we were out of capacity, and out of compliance with NDEP (Nevada Department of Environmental Protection)," Workman said.

He said in those days engineers wanted additional capacity, there were no surface water rights available for the county and no wastewater ordinance, and the water ordinance was outdated.

Developers had to design, build and turn over to the county the infrastructure he said, and that caused compliance issues.

But with the development of the water and wastewater master plans, the county is in compliance with NDEP, he added, and all the infrastructure is connected.

Workman said the infrastructure and bonds used to pay for it were based on 16,500 units that developers estimated they would need.

But with the housing slowdown, fewer homes were built. However, the county still has to pay back the debt for the infrastructure, leading to the connection fee increase.

Sheena Beaver, representing the Builders Association of Western Nevada, said a survey of their members showed they objected less to the increases since the fees could be paid at the application for the building permit.

Builder Dwight Millard, who is developing Canyon Estates in Mark Twain, said being able to pay the connection fees later allowed them easier financing.

"I support the raising of fees, even though the timing couldn't be worse," he said.

Commission Chair Phyllis Hunewill said the fee increase was necessary to pay down the debts after housing didn't increase as fast as developers thought it would.

"We built facilities on the projections of developers," she said.

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or 881-7351.


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