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FPUD updates new development fees

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

The Fallbrook Public Utility District board approved an update for fees FPUD charges for new development or other new service.

The 5-0 board vote Dec. 5 adopted miscellaneous engineering service and other related fees. The fees are based on the cost of materials, labor time and equipment used to perform the work.

“Each fee is based on the actual typical time,” said FPUD senior engineer Aaron Cook.

FPUD charges for services related to the installation, relocation, testing, and administration of water and sewer service. The installation fees are for materials and labor and are not related to the capacity fees charged by FPUD or the San Diego County Water Authority to recover the proportionate cost of the existing and planned system serving the new customers.

FPUD has a stipulation that the fees are updated annually based upon changes in the Construction Cost Index and those fees have been updated over the past five years, but FPUD had not conducted a comprehensive review of the fees for several years.

“On some of these, we have become lower than market,” said FPUD General Manager Jack Bebee.

As part of the development of FPUD’s 2022 Financial Plan, district staff reviewed the costs associated with performing engineering services for customers. The water meter installation fee is based on the time and material costs associated to connect a meter to a service line. The water service line installation fee is derived from the time and material costs associated with excavating a water main, installing a service connection at the main, and excavating and installing an appropriately sized water service line from the main to the site of the meter installation.

The meter relocation fee covers time and material costs associated with excavating a water main at the site of the existing service connection, removing the existing service line, capping the existing service connection at the main, excavating the water main at the new location, installing a service connection at the main, and laying an appropriately sized water service line from the main to the site of the relocated meter.

The fee for installing a backflow device with a meter is based on time and material costs associated with installing a backflow device downstream of a meter which has been installed by FPUD (backflow installations on existing services or retrofits are the sole responsibility of the property owner the existing meter serves).

The hydrant installation fee is for time and material costs associated with excavating a water main at the site of the hydrant installation, installing a connection at the main, excavating and installing the new hydrant’s six-inch service lateral to the point where the hydrant will be installed, and installing a concrete pad around the hydrant.

The paving fee is intended to recover FPUD’s time and material costs associated with repairing paving which is removed during excavation for the installation of water appurtenances. A county inspection fee is charged for the time of a county inspector to perform a site visit and inspect paving repairs on county-maintained roads.

The sewer lateral/cleanout installation fee is charged for time and material costs associated with excavating an existing sewer main, trenching for the new service lateral, connecting to the existing sewer main, installing a service lateral to the point of the district cleanout, and installing a district cleanout. The paving fee covers time and material costs associated with repairing paving removed during excavation for the installation of water appurtenances.

The water meter service line installation fee is based on nine hours of FPUD labor for meters three inches or larger and for fire hydrant or fire service installation with the fee increasing from $960.66 to $1,047.71 and five hours of labor for meters with diameters between three-quarters of an inch and two inches with the fee rising from $533.70 to $582.06.

The meter and service line installation for a meter only increases from $2,795 to $4,072 for a 3/4-inch meter, from $2,974 to $4,169 for one-inch meters, from $4,033 to $5,186 for a 1 1/2-inch meter, and from $4,837 to $5,663 for a two-inch meter (actual cost will be assessed for any meter three inches or larger, and there is no charge for a recycled water meter of any size).

For a new meter only on an existing service line the charge will increase from $470 to $531 for 3/4-inch meters, from $628 to $647 for one-inch meters, from $1,026 to $1,177 for a 1 1/2-inch meter, and from $1,183 to $1,439 for a two-inch meter. The increase for a service line only is from $2,327 to $3,541 for 3/4-inch and one-inch meters, from $3,007 to $4,009 for a 1 1/2-inch meter, and from $3,655 to $4,224 for a two-inch meter.

If paving for a service line is less than or equal to 15 feet, the additional charge increases from $1,814 to $2,400 and if the paving is between 15 and 30 feet, the fee rises from $3,629 to $4,400 (if county road inspection is required there is an additional fee of $1,408).

The meter relocation fees increase from $3,216 to $5,111 for a 3/4-inch meter, from $3,377 to $5,111 for a one-inch meter, from $4,057 to $5,658 for a 1 1/2-inch meter, and from $4,664 to $5,873 for a two-inch meter (with additional fees of $4,765 if paving is required up to 30 feet and $1,408 if a county road inspection is required).

The fee revisions modify the capacity fees for new permanent meter service. The capacity fee is in addition to the charges for the actual cost of labor and materials necessary to make the physical connection to the water system.

The capacity fee increases from $5,801 to $6,327 for 3/4-inch meters, from $9,284 to $10,125 for one-inch meters, from $17,406 to $18,983 for 1 1/2-inch meters, from $30,171 to $32,905 for two-inch meters, from $55,699 to $60,746 for three-inch meters, from $95,150 to $103,772 for four-inch meters, and from $174,060 to $189,832 for six-inch meters. The San Diego County Water Authority has a separate capacity charge.

FPUD will provide meter testing upon request by a ratepayer. A meter is considered accurate according to American Water Works Association standards if it measures between 98.5% and 101.5%. If, after the customer’s request for testing, the meter is determined to be accurate, the customer will be assessed a meter testing fee which will increase from $123 to $134 for a 3/4-inch or 1-inch meter and $166 to $181 for a 1 1/2-inch or 2-inch meter (larger meters will be tested by an outside agency at a cost to be determined based on actual time and materials).

If the meter is inaccurate, FPUD will absorb the cost of the test and make the appropriate exchange or repair to meet the AWWA accuracy standards.

If FPUD must install a backflow prevention device along with the new meter, the fee will rise from $477 to $767 for each 3/4-inch meter, from $562 to $788 for each one-inch meter, from $1,038 to $1,358 for each 1 1/2-inch meter, and from $1,256 to $1,570 for each two-inch meter (larger meters are assessed actual costs).

The cost to install a fire hydrant increases from $9,175 to $11,482 for complete assembly of a two-port hydrant and from $9,936 to $14,082 for a three-port hydrant. The fire flow testing fee of $534 is unchanged. If paving over 20 feet is required the additional fee rises from $258 to $281 per trench foot.

The cost to relocate a construction meter was increased from $123 to $134.

If FPUD staff is used to install a lateral from the main line along with a cleanout box and overflow device, the fee is based on the length and depth. For lengths 15 feet or less, the fee for a depth of eight feet or less increases from $3,514 to $8,028 and the fee for a depth of more than eight feet rises from $5,444 to $11,627.

If the length is between 15 and 30 feet, the increase is from $7,345 to $15,420 for a depth eight feet or less and from $9,624 to $17,950 for a depth greater than eight feet. (Actual costs will be charged for a length greater than 30 feet.) If paving less than or equal to 15 feet is required the additional fee increases from $1,476 to $2,400 and if paving between 15 and 30 feet is required the additional fee is changed from $2,472 to $4,400.

If a contractor installs a sewer lateral and related facilities, the applicant must pay a sewer lateral inspection fee on a time and materials basis. The deposit due upon submission of an application multiplies the estimated inspection hours by the hourly rate, and the hourly rate was increased from $106.74 to $116.41. (If the actual inspection time is less than FPUD’s estimate, the deposit balance will be refunded; if the actual inspection time exceeds the estimate, the remaining amount must also be paid.)

For construction meters the monthly service charge increases from $372.72 to $438.96 not including the cost of water consumed.

 

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