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City water, sewer tap fees may rise
water faucet

McMinnville officials are considering an increase in water and sewer connection fees. 

According to Water and Sewer Department maintenance supervisor Heath Collins, the city is losing money on its water and sewer tapping fees – the charge for connecting to the city’s water supply and sewer disposal services. 

Collins generated a breakdown of charges, requested by Water and Wastewater Department director Ricky Morton, and presented those to members of the city’s Water and Sewer Committee on Wednesday. 

That information outlined that the city isn’t covering its expenses under the current fee structure and by how much.

“We charge $1,150 for a 1-inch line,” said Collins. “Our cost to place those is $1,680. We are losing $530.”

For a standard size of three-quarter inch line, the department charges $900, but the department’s cost is $1,445.

“We are losing $545 on three-quarter inch,” said Collins.

Presented were itemized lists detailing the costs associated with connecting a new customer to the city’s water supply. 

For a 1-inch connection: master meter $240, meter setter with dual check $279, copper pipe $126, meter box $85, tap saddle $28, brass corp stop $549 service truck use $80 ($20 an hour), mini excavator bobcat $140 ($35 an hour), dump truck $140 ($35 an hour), rock $135, rock crush and run $18, and labor of three men $360. 

Numbers presented for sewer connection also depicted losses:

• A 4-inch sewer tap fee is $750, but cost to the department is $959. 

• A 6-inch sewer tap fee is $880, but cost to the department is $1,040

• A force main tap fee is $850, but the cost to the department is $1,145. 

An increase in tap fees will not affect existing McMinnville Water and Sewer Department customers. Tap fees are charges associated with connecting a new build or existing structure to the city’s water and sewer services. 

Water and Sewer Committee members accepted the numbers as information only. A follow-up meeting will be scheduled for Tuesday, March 9.