Board approves cutting builders' water, sewer fees

The Carson City Board of Supervisors voted Thursday to lower sewer and water connection fees, which builders pay to hook up services on new construction.

Sewer fees for residential units will be reduced from $5,477 to $577. Water fees will drop from $4,543 to $454.

The move, intended to spur new development, was criticized by some builders who had already paid the higher fees, saying it would give an unfair edge to new projects.

Shelly Aldean, who voted against the cuts, said she was worried that there were already 389 residential vacancies as well as a substantial number of commercial vacancies.

"I'm concerned developers will come in and pick up property (with reduced hookup fees) when we have a glut of commercial vacancies," she said. "I think we need to be a bit more discriminating about who benefits."

Northern Nevada Development Authority Executive Director Rob Hooper partially agreed.

"I think we need to fill the buildings we already have. However, buildings don't always fit the company," Hooper said. "Nevada is

No. 1 in unemployment and foreclosures. We're in a cat fight out there right now with other states that offer free hookups."

Rick DeMar, chief executive officer of the Builders Association of Western Nevada, said his board of directors was in favor of the measure as "pro-business and proactive."

"It may not be a perfect ordinance, but it's the right thing for Carson City right now," said Mayor Bob Crowell.

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