Oliver, IL. (ECWd) –
Clark-Edgar Rural Water District made an exception to a tap fee and voted to only collect a $650.00 fee from a new customer to have a water meter set. This was made during their May 18, 2015 meeting.
This is an unusual move by this district, as they had, in the past, always demanded the full tap fee.
This sets the stage for others to inquire about a reduced tap fee, which is regularly set at $2500.00 – so, for all those out there that need a discounted tap fee – have at it!
At a later meeting, the Board voted to pull the meter of a person that did not want to keep paying the $41.00 per month for a meter at a house she is no longer living in, she simply asked for a reduced fee and to keep the meter in place considering there would be no water used. The Board said “No exception” and voted to pull the meter. How is that for consistency?
Time to talk about this so called “tap fee” or “connection fee” again, to get our newer readers up-to-date on the “tap-fees” for rural water districts.
It is our belief that a “Public Water District” cannot establish and collect a connection “tap” fee. Sections 12 and 22 explain what fees and charges a “Public Water District” can charge.
A “Combined Water and Sewerage District” can charge a connection fee according to Section 23(f)
(70 ILCS 3705/12)
(from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 199)
The board of trustees of any public water district organized hereunder is authorized to acquire either by purchase or condemnation, and to maintain, operate and to improve and extend such waterworks properties within such district as the board of trustees may determine to be conducive to the preservation of public health, comfort and convenience of such area, and shall have power to make, enact and enforce all needful rules and regulations in connection with the acquisition of any waterworks properties or to the construction thereof, the improvement, extension, management, maintenance, operation, care, protection and the use thereof, and it shall be the duty of such board to establish rates and charges for water and water service, which shall be sufficient at all times to pay the cost of maintenance and operation, depreciation, and principal of and interest on all bonds issued and other obligations incurred under the provisions of Sections 1 through 23 of this Act.
(70 ILCS 3705/22)
(from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 209)
Rates and charges for the use and service of the waterworks properties acquired by any district organized under the provisions of this Act shall be sufficient at all times to pay the cost of maintenance and operation, to pay the principal of and interest upon all revenue bonds issued under the provisions of Section 16 of this Act, and to provide a reasonable depreciation fund as established pursuant to the provisions of the ordinance authorizing the issuance of any such revenue bonds, and the holder of any bond or bonds or any of the interest coupon or coupons of any revenue bonds of any such district may in any civil action, mandamus, injunction or other proceeding enforce and compel the performance of all duties required by this Act and the covenants and undertakings set forth in any bond ordinance, including the making and collecting of sufficient rates and charges for the use or service of the waterworks properties of the district, and the proper application of the income and revenue therefrom.
(70 ILCS 3705/23f)
(from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 210f)
Whenever revenue bonds are issued under Section 23e of this Act, the income and revenue derived from the operation of the combined waterworks and sewerage system of the district…
The board of trustees is authorized to charge rates and charges for the use and service of the combined waterworks and sewerage system, and to defray the costs of connections thereto, which shall be sufficient at all times (1) to pay the cost of maintenance and operation of the system, (2) to pay the principal of and interest upon all revenue bonds issued...
Please note the lack of the words “to defray the costs of connections thereto” in the Sections applying only to a Public Water District, while those words are in the Section applying to a Combined Water and Sewer District.