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Mancos trustees approve increases in utility fees

Change could bring in an additional $30,000, Phillips says

Mancos trustees voted on Wednesday, Aug. 24 to approve an ordinance changing the town’s utility billing methods for water and sewer fees.

The ordinance was approved on first and final reading. No public hearing was held because it was not related to the town budget or land-use code, Town Administrator Andrea Phillips said.

Previously, the town allowed holders of inactive water and sewer taps to pay $5 per month per tap. That price is less than the monthly minimum bill of $73 for both water and sewer taps, which applies to active taps.

The ordinance will end the practice of charging inactive tap holders a lower price, requiring them to pay the minimum, $73 fee for water and sewer taps.

The fees will be raised incrementally, with inactive tap holders paying about $18 per month for water and sewer taps for the remainder of 2016 until July 2017. After Aug. 1, 2017, inactive tap holders will pay the $73 minimum bill.

The minimum price includes for up to 7,000 gallons of water per month for water and sewer. For every 1,000 gallons over that, there is a charge of $2 per month.

Phillips said changing the fees could bring up to an additional $30,000 in revenue for the town in the enterprise fund. There is still a cost to the town to run water treatment plants and provide water even though there are a number of inactive taps in town, she said.

The fee schedule had not been revised since the 1990s, according to Trustee Ed Hallam.

Also at the meeting, trustees voted to appoint John Cox to the town planning and zoning commission. They voted 5-1, with Trustee Cindy Simpson voting against. Cox formerly served as marshal of Mancos.

Trustees and planning and zoning commission members will meet in a joint session Sept. 7 to discuss accessory dwelling housing units and other potential housing options for the town. Board members considered an ordinance allowing accessory dwelling units within town limits at their meeting on Aug. 24, but did not take a vote on it.

The ordinance would allow homeowners to construct an accessory structure or apartment on residential lots of 10,000 square feet or more. The units would be between 350 and 800 square feet and could be attached to the main structure or detached.

If the ordinance passes, any homeowner with existing accessory units would have 90 days to register with the town and request a building inspection. The existing units would need to be brought into compliance with code, when possible.

Also at the meeting, trustees reappointed Rena Wilson and Tim Hunter to the design and review board, both with two-year terms.

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