The housing slowdown has forced Lyon County Utilities to tighten its belt, to the point where water and sewer connection fees could increase.
The Lyon County Commissioner will hold a public hearing to consider increasing utility connection fees Tuesday at the Lyon Utilities Building in Dayton.
Lyon Utilities Director Mike Workman said this had nothing to do with residents' monthly water or sewer bills. This would affect new connections only, in both Dayton and Mound House.
If approved, the connection fees for water service would nearly double, from $2,021 to $4,303. The connection fees for sewer service would rise $433, from $9,183 to $9,616.
Though the utility has had close to 300 connections this year, many paid for in advance by developers, there hasn't been any for the last few months, Workman said.
"Over the last five months or so I've been working with the comptroller, the engineering community and the development community to redefine the master plan components that need to be built," he said. "We have to make the adjustment because there are less rooftops built than the developers projected two years ago."
"We've cut way back on capital improvement projects that were in the (water and wastewater) master plan," he said. "We're only building what's absolutely necessary to meet the limited number of connections we have."
Workman said they calculated the number of units that were expected to come online with the amount of capital improvement projects needed, to come up with the necessary fee amount.
"This connection fee is needed partially because the number of will-serves issued did not meet what the developers told us they would need," he said.
Even if the housing slowdown continues, Workman is not particularly worried, at least not yet.
"We have good reserves for about two years," he said. "And we're being very conservative on our operating side, trying to reduce costs where we can. We're taking a close look at everything we do.
• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-7351.