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Raising Connection Fees

Sonora, CA — Homebuyers may soon pay more to connect to Tuolumne Utilities District (T.U.D.) water system.

Tonight the T.U.D.’s board of Directors heard details of a Public Advisory Committee’s (PAC) recommendations on raising connection fees and changing the time when the fees are paid.

In August of last year, the District created a Public Advisory Committee to look into updating water and wastewater connection fees for new homes and projects.  The PAC recommends raising the connection fee by $1,272 making it a total of $5,477.  The number takes into account supply, treatment, and storage fees.

In regards to when the connection fee is paid, the PAC recommended a change.

General Manager of T.U.D. Tom Scesa says,   “Currently, the entire fee must be paid prior to any construction of homes.  We are unique; most other districts get their fees at the time of construction.”  Scesa says the PAC liked that idea because a developer does not have to pay the whole cost up front removing some cost barriers for projects.

The PAC‘s recommendations are still in the works.  The board will have the final say on any changes.

Scesa told the board,   “What will be coming back to this board is the fee for approval, the timing change for approval and then direction to staff to change the water rules and regulations.  We’ll have to hold a public hearing for that and we’ll want to change them both at the same time.”