Commissioners approve Lyon County Utilities fee increases
Appeal staff writer
Anyone building a home in the area served by Lyon County Utilities will have higher fees to pay for permits, testing and other water and sewer requirements.
Lyon County commissioners approved modification of an ordinance during their regular meeting Thursday that will increase some fees to include the cost of time by Lyon County staff and materials.
Water conservation waste fees are also part of the new ordinance.
Utilities Director Mike Workman said ratepayers would only be affected by the water conservation waste fees, and then only if they wasted water.
“If you build a new house, when you bring your plans in, there are backflow tests … those are what we are covering,” he said.
The other fees include permits, water pressure test, chlorine tests, sewer pressure tests and inspections.
The cost of overtime and holiday pay for workers will be borne by the builder.
Workman said because the utility was growing and becoming more specialized with new regulations, such as cross connection control and water conservation, it was appropriate to update the fee schedule.
The fee schedule covers all areas served by Lyon County Utilities, including Dayton, Mound House, Willowcreek and the Crystal Clear Water system near Yerington.
The only major increase was for the subdivision permit; the others only involve the additional cost of time and materials.
Commissioner LeRoy Goodman said the fees for conservation were too lenient.
“If you look at the river right now, you can’t get any water out of it,” he said. “But you have verbal warning, then written warning, then $25 for a third offense?”
Workman said he was concentrating on the public-education component of the water conservation plan, and thought the warnings and fees were appropriate. He added that any waste of water was already paid for by the user on their bill.
“To implement and establish an effective water conservation effort, a good chunk has to be placed with public education, and that’s what we’re doing,” he said.
He said the per-capita consumption among Lyon County Utilities customers has actually gone down, and those who waste water are not always doing it intentionally. For example, he said, some people don’t know how to operate their sprinkler timers and Utilities staff was helping residents out by showing them.
“Our unaccounted for water is right at 10 percent or less, well within industry standards,” he said.
He said the state average use is 200-205 gallons of water per person per day, but Lyon County residents are using, on average, 175 gallons per person per day.
Workman said the fee schedule for water waste is just a first step, and he would come back with a report after the program has been in place for a year or two.
He said the utility was working with residents to promote xeriscaping and other efficient landscaping.
• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at email@example.com or 882-2111 ext. 351.
Proposed fee changes
Fee changes Current Proposed
Subdivision permit and improvement plan review fee $150 $250 plus time and materials
Overtime/holiday each inspection, 2 hour minimum $150/hr time and materials
Backflow device repair 0 time and materials
Final inspection each 0 $35
MXU device and installation per meter pit 0 $200
Hydrant meter monthly rental 0 $35
Hydrant meter deposit (replacement cost) 0 $1,100
Miscellaneous/other, as requested 0 time and materials
Water conservation waste fees:
1st offense Ð verbal warning
2nd offense Ð written warning
3rd offense Ð $25
4th offense Ð $50
5th offense Ð $100
6th offense Ð $200
7th offense Ð $500
8th offense Ð install flow restriction device Ð time and materials