Purpose of the Report
Green Engineering was commissioned by the Columbus County Board of Commissioners to analyze its Utility Assets and create a Water System Development Fee (SDF) schedule. This action was initiated as a result of new growth that is now impacting the County’s existing infrastructure capacity. This new demand for existing system components will exceed the current 20-year plan and require additional assets essential to meet the new anticipated demand without creating a negative impact on existing customers.
The development of a fee schedule is very timely with the recent passage of the North Carolina House Bill 436 (HB 436). Many utilities across the state have engaged in adopting fees to generate new revenue sources essential to cover the impact of new growth on existing utility facilities. The bill was ratified to address inconsistencies among public water and sewer providers including calculation methodologies and implementation.
This Bill provides specific guidelines that public water and sewer providers must follow to charge SDFs effective October 1, 2017. The law provided a grace period through July 1, 2018 for public providers to update fees in accordance with the new procedures and conditions.
Since the County of Columbus is now considering fee assessments, it is appropriate that it follow the newly adopted Act 162A, Article 8 which is defined as:
“AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE UNIFORM AUTHORITY TO IMPLEMENT SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT FEES FOR PUBLIC WATER AND SEWER SYSTEMS IN
NORTH CAROLINA AND TO CLARIFY THE APPLICABLE STATUE OF LIMITATIONS.”
This Act was established upon the ratification of House Bill 436. Therefore, it should be the intent of the County to be consistent with this law. The North Carolina General Assembly amended this statute in 2019 (HB 873) with new changes relative to when these SDF’s can be charged and collected.
The Commissioners have approved for System Development Fees to be advertised for Water and Sewer District V. A public hearing will be held on January 2nd, 2024 at 6:30 P.M., or as soon as can be heard regarding these fees. Please direct any comments to the Clerk to the Board, Jana Nealey by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (910) 640-6640.