Chapter 13.11
WATER AND SEWER CONNECTION CHARGES

Sections:

13.11.010    Purpose.

13.11.020    Intent of connection charges.

13.11.030    General connection charge.

13.11.032    Regional water connection charge.

13.11.035    Additional connection charge.

13.11.036    Loan program for additional connection charge.

13.11.040    Water and sewer stub charge.

13.11.050    Distribution of funds received.

13.11.060    Calculating and setting general connection charges.

13.11.090    Cost of the system.

13.11.100    Interest charge.

13.11.120    Application of reimbursement agreements.

13.11.130    Connection charge computations.

13.11.140    Failure to pay connection charges.

13.11.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish water and sewer connection charges and to provide procedures and regulations for calculating and collecting the charges. (Ord. 1485 § 1 (part), 1989).

13.11.020 Intent of connection charges.

The City Council finds that it would be inequitable for owners of property to receive the benefit of connection to the water and sewer system without first paying their equitable share of the cost of the system. The City Council further finds that it is reasonable and lawful to establish connection charges to prevent such inequity from occurring. (Ord. 2108 § 1, 2001: Ord. 1485 § 1 (part), 1989).

13.11.030 General connection charge.

There is established a general water connection charge and a general sewer connection charge which shall be imposed on all owners of real property seeking to connect said property and improvements to the city water and/or sewer systems. (Ord. 1485 § 1 (part), 1989).

13.11.032 Regional water connection charge.

There is established a regional water connection charge which shall be imposed upon all owners of real property seeking to connect said property and improvements to the City water system. The amount of the regional water connection charge shall be equal to the regional capital facility charge imposed by the Cascade Water Alliance, plus an additional three percent (3%) of said charge, rounded up to the nearest dollar. The regional water connection charge shall be in addition to any and all other connection charges established by this chapter or elsewhere in the City’s Codes and ordinances. (Ord. 2108 § 4, 2001: Ord. 2037 § 1, 1999).

13.11.035 Additional connection charge.

(A) Whenever the City constructs a sewer or water system improvement which will provide service to or benefit only a limited number of properties within a defined geographic area, the owners of those properties who thereafter seek connection to the city’s water or sewer system through the improvement shall be required to pay, in addition to the general connection charge established by this chapter, an additional connection charge consisting of an equitable share of the costs which have been incurred by the City to design, engineer, construct and install the water or sewer system improvement.

(B) Single-Family Residential Main Extensions. The amount of the water or sewer additional connection charge and the area or properties which will be required to pay the same shall be established by the Director of Public Works pursuant to the following procedure:

(1) The total project cost shall be determined to include all costs to design, engineer, construct and install the water or sewer main extension. A “project” shall be defined as that construction which provides service to contiguous or nearly contiguous properties in a specific geographic area.

(2) The number of existing homes which may connect to the water or sewer extension shall be determined.

(3) The number of future homes which may connect to the water or sewer extension lots shall be determined. “Future homes” are those which may be constructed either on vacant lots or on underdeveloped lots. In making this determination, the Director shall consider the practicality of achieving the density allowed by zoning on any lot, and shall determine the number of homes possible in light of such practical constraints as placement of existing structures, topographical features, sensitive areas and other typical constraints relevant to construction of new homes.

(4) The cost per dwelling unit shall be determined by dividing the project cost from subsection (B)(1) above by the sum of the existing homes from subsection (B)(2) above and future homes from subsection (B)(3) above.

(5) For all existing homes which may connect to a sewer extension, the additional connection charge shall be (a) 50% of the cost per dwelling unit from subsection (B)(4) above or (b) the cost per dwelling unit from subsection (B)(4) above minus $10,000, whichever is greater.

(6) For all future homes which connect to either a water or a sewer extension and for existing homes which connect to a water extension, the additional connection charge shall be the cost per dwelling unit from subsection (B)(4) above.

(C) Repealed by Ord. 2936.

(D) System Improvements Except for Single-Family Residential Main Extensions. The amount of the water or sewer additional connection charge and the area or properties which will be required to pay the same shall be established by resolution of the City Council. In establishing the amount of the charges, the City Council shall consider the costs which will be or have been incurred to design, engineer, construct and install the water or sewer system improvement, together with any other relevant information.

(E) The additional connection charge will include an appropriate interest charge from the completion of the improvement until the time of connection, in accord with Section 13.11.100. (Ord. 2936 § 2, 2018: Ord. 1989 § 1, 1998: Ord. 1973 § 1 (part), 1998: Ord. 1816 § 1, 1994).

13.11.036 Loan program for additional connection charge.

A. Property owners who meet the requirements of this section may qualify for a loan of a portion of the additional sewer connection charge established under Section 13.11.035. The principal amount of the loan authorized by this section shall not exceed the amount of the additional connection charge, less any private financing or prepayment by the owner. The actual amount financed shall be determined under the following formula:

Owner’s Share of Sewer Project
(= Total Project Cost/Number of Benefited Properties)

Less 50% or $10,000, whichever is less

Less Private Financing or Prepayment (if any)
_____________________________________

Equals Total Loan Amount.

B. In order for a property owner to qualify for a loan under this section, the property to which the connection is to be made must be developed with an existing single-family home served by an existing septic system. Vacant property, property used for multi-family dwelling units, property served by existing sewers, and non-residential property shall not qualify for the loan program established by this section.

C. In order to qualify for a loan under this section, the property owner must fill out a credit application and pass an appropriate credit check. The City reserves the right to exercise reasonable business judgment and to disapprove any loan based upon a credit check. The application must be accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee in an amount set in the City’s user fee resolution.

D. The terms of the loan shall be as follows:

1. The loan will be structured as a simple promissory note.

2. The term of the note shall not exceed 10 years, commencing at the time the property is connected to the sewer.

3. The note will bear interest at the rate which is based on the City’s current investment yield at the time of the loan, plus a two percent margin to cover administrative costs and interest rate fluctuations over the loan period.

4. The loan will be secured by an interest in the property. The property interest may take the form of a lien, a deed of trust, or such other instrument as may be acceptable to the City Finance Director and City Attorney.

5. The note shall provide for acceleration of the principal upon default in any payment. In the event of default, the City shall have all available remedies, including, but not limited to, foreclosure of its interest in the property, notification of credit bureaus, use of collection agencies, and terminating service.

6. Loan principal and interest charges will be billed by the City and due monthly. Appropriate penalties may be imposed by the City for delinquent accounts.

7. There shall be no penalty for prepayment.

8. The note will contain a due on sale clause which provides for payment in full of all outstanding principal and interest upon sale of the property.

E. No loan shall be made unless the property owner connects the property to the system and pays the City’s general connection charge and the Metro connection charge at the time the property is connected. In no event shall the loan be used to cover the City’s general connection charge, the Metro connection charge, the property owner’s side sewer costs, the decommissioning of the property’s septic system, or any other charge not included in the additional connection charge established by Section 13.11.035.

F. Nothing in this section requires any person to finance any portion of the additional connection charge through the City. Property owners are free to pay any or all of the additional connection charge at the time of connection and may privately finance any or all of the additional connection charge.

G. Loans shall be limited by available funds. The amount of available funds shall be at the discretion of the City Council and shall be determined periodically by City Council motion, resolution, or ordinance. All funds used for loan purposes shall be derived from operating revenues from the sale of sewer services. (Ord. 1973 § 1 (part), 1998).

13.11.040 Water and sewer stub charge.

When constructing water or sewer mains, and street projects, and when determined feasible by the Public Works Director, the city shall extend water main stubs, sewer main stubs and side sewer stubs to the property line of each parcel of undeveloped property. These stubs shall be capped until needed for development. Any person desiring to connect to a stub or develop a property for which a stub was provided, shall make payment to the city for the city’s costs incurred in constructing the stub to the property. The amount of the stub charge shall be established by resolution of the City Council. The water and sewer stub charge shall be in addition to any other required charges or fees, including inspection and connection charges and shall be paid at the time of application for connection. (Ord. 1485 § 1 (part), 1989).

13.11.050 Distribution of funds received.

All funds received in payment of water or sewer charges imposed pursuant to this chapter shall be considered revenue of the city water and sewer utility in the form of a contribution-in-aid-of-construction, provided that charges collected pursuant to a reimbursement agreement shall be reimbursed in accordance with the terms of said agreement. (Ord. 1762 § 2, 1994: Ord. 1485 § 1 (part), 1989).

13.11.060 Calculating and setting general connection charges.

The amount of the water and sewer general connection charges shall be established by resolution or ordinance of the City Council. In establishing the amount of the charges, the City Council shall consider the costs of the system together with any other relevant information, and shall determine the amount of charges, which will result in the payment of an equitable share of the costs of such systems by those property owners desiring to connect to such systems. The amount of the charges shall be reviewed by the utility not less frequently than in January of odd numbered years. Based upon these periodic reviews, the utility shall make a written recommendation to the City Council upon the need for revision of the charges. (Ord. 2108 § 2, 2001: Ord. 1762 § 3, 1994: Ord. 1485 § 1 (part), 1989).

13.11.090 Cost of the system.

“Cost of the system,” as used in this chapter means the original cost of the system, together with projected improvement project cost to expand and improve the system, and together with an interest component. Existing cost and projected costs include costs of planning, designing, acquiring right-of-way and/or easements, permitting, constructing, materials, inspecting, and all other costs to create a complete system improvement. The original cost of the utility systems shall be determined from actual records of the City, or if such records are not complete or available, from an engineer’s estimate of the cost of the system at the time it was constructed, and for planned improvements from an engineer’s estimate of the costs when it will be constructed. (Ord. 2108 § 3, 2001: Ord. 1485 § 1 (part), 1989).

13.11.100 Interest charge.

Pursuant to RCW 35.92.025, there shall be added to the amount of water and sewer stub charges and to the amount of the additional water and sewer connection charges provided for in this chapter, a charge for interest on the amount of each stub or connection charge from the date of construction of the water or sewer improvement which serves the property served by the connection or stub until payment of the charges, not to exceed ten years. The interest charge shall be calculated at a rate determined by the Finance Director. The interest charge shall be calculated at a rate which is commensurate with the rate of interest applicable to borrowing by the city at the time of construction of the water or sewer improvement. The interest rate shall not exceed ten percent per year. The total interest charge shall not exceed the principal amount of the stub or additional connection charge to which it applies. (Ord. 1816 § 2, 1994: Ord. 1485 § 1 (part), 1989).

13.11.120 Application of reimbursement agreements.

In the event that, pursuant to a utility reimbursement agreement or latecomer agreement, the city is obligated to charge a fee as a condition upon the right to connect to a portion of the city sewer or water system, and to reimburse a private party out of such charge for prior improvements to the system, the amount of such charge shall be considered a part of the connection fees imposed by this chapter and disposed of pursuant to the terms of such agreement. (Ord. 1485 § 1 (part), 1989).

13.11.130 Connection charge computations.

Applications for connection to the water and sewer system shall be made to the utility on a printed form furnished for that purpose, and the utility shall calculate the applicable charges imposed pursuant to this chapter. (Ord. 1762 § 4, 1994: Ord. 1485 § 1 (part), 1989).

13.11.140 Failure to pay connection charges.

Any person connecting to the city water system or city sewer system shall pay all appropriate charges imposed pursuant to this chapter. In the event that a connection is made to the city water or sewer system without payment of all appropriate charges through (1) mistake by the city in calculating the appropriate charges, (2) the city calculating the charges using incorrect information given by the applicant, or (3) by a person connecting to the system without payment of any fees because of not obtaining proper approvals or permits, the difference between the amount paid and the appropriate charges shall be due and payable immediately upon notice from the city to the property owner that charges are owing. Any charges not paid within thirty (30) days after the date of the notice shall be considered delinquent. Delinquent charges shall be processed in accordance with RMC 13.17.080. (Ord. 1762 § 5, 1994: Ord. 1682 § 5, 1992).