89.1 WEMU

Ann Arbor Reviewing Confusing Fees For New Water And Sewer Connections

Sep 24, 2014

Building a new house or office always includes challenges meeting all codes and getting permits.  In Ann Arbor just figuring out how much it costs to tie into the water and sewer system can be difficult.  The city is looking at developing a fee structure that is more easily understood.

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

During the economic downtown not many people were starting new developments, so there wasn't much of a call for clearing up the water and sewer connection fees.  Now that the number of developments is increasing, City Council has asked staff to take a look at the issue.

Public Services spokesperson Robert Teller says he can't give a simple answer to how much it costs a property owner to hook up to the water and sewer system if they want to build on an empty lot. "These fees vary so much dependent on the work being done and as I noted we have gotten feedback that that process is not as clear as it could be," Teller says.

Some residents including Jeff Hayner, believe the high connection fees are limiting in-fill development opportunities in the city. 

Teller says the scope of the study won't address this issue directly. The plan calls for developing an equitable and understandable fee structure.

The study kicks off Tuesday at four PM with a public meeting at City Hall.

Like 89.1 WEMU on Facebook and follow us on Twitter— Andrew Cluley is the Ann Arbor beat reporter, and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him acluley@emich.edu.