Residents have 2 years before sewer rate hikes kick in

Printed in 6/30/17 print edition of Yellowstone County News.

LOCKWOOD — Lockwood residents who are part of the Phase 2 sewer district will have two years in which to take advantage of system development fees (SDF) at their current rate, before a proposed increase in the fees will be implemented. The Lockwood Water and Sewer District (LWSD) Board compromised on the length of delay, after discussion revealed that some board members wanted to extend the current fees one year and others thought they should be extended three years.

Board members took up the issue at their regular monthly board meeting, last Wednesday, after Lockwood citizens pointed out at a public hearing regarding new rates, on May 22, that property owners had not had much time to connect to the system. It is advantageous to the District to have as many people as possible connect to the system as soon as possible, and increasing the system development fees so soon is a disincentive to connect.

Current SDF for sewer is $195 for Phase 2 of LWSD, and $905, which is a pass-through fee to the City of Billings.

Another question raised at the hearing was whether there is a deadline by which, if someone has pre-paid their SDF charges, they must be connected to the system. There are only a few property owners who have pre-paid their fees, but the board had no policy regarding a deadline, said LWSD Manager, Mike Ariztia.

At the hearing, the board postponed making a decision about accepting the recommended new rates until the entire board could discuss the matter at their June meeting, last Wednesday.

Besides postponing the implementation of sewer SDF charges for Phase 2 property owners, until July 1, 2019, the board decided … Read full story in print edition by subscribing online here. 

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