The Paonia Town Council was taken aback at the outcry by local business owners about a proposed water ordinance. The result from the March 27 council meeting was to send the ordinance back to a work session April 3 to try and come up with a more equitable plan.
In a series of work sessions, council had made new ordinance provisions for multiple businesses housed in a single building. The proposed ordinance would multiply the base commercial rate by the total number of taps assessed for each tenant/business in an office building whether in-town or out-of-town.
The Town of Paonia would, in a multi-tenant arrangement, charge the first business for a full tap and then 1/5th of a tap for each additional business/tenant in the one building. Commercial in-town water taps begin at $6,000 for a 3/4-inch line, and increase in cost depending on the size of line.
Applying the provisions of the ordinance, the impact is signifant for the Harvester Building, a multi-tenant office building in dowtown Paonia. Onwer Ed Marston told council there are 18 tenants in the building.
The commercial base rate begins with a $22 monthly fee plus a fee for water used. The base rate increases by 1/5 for each additional business in the same building. In this example, the Harvester Building tenants use approximately 4,000 gallons of water a month. The first business is charged the full base rate, and the other 17 tenants would equate to 3.4 additional taps — $22 plus $74.80 which totals $96.80 a month.
In addition, to bring the property into compliance with the proposed ordinance, the owner of the Harvester Building, Ed Marston, would have to pay for 17 1/5th taps at $1,200 each or an additional $20,400. Water usage would be charged at $1.45 per thousand gallons.
The ordinance applies to all properties, without any "grandfathering" provisions.
The ordinance considers all for-profit and non-profits registered with the state as businesses. Home businesses are exempt.
Residential rental properties are also impacted by the proposed ordinance.
The Town of Paonia's reason for increasing the rates is the belief businesses need to invest in the town and pay for a second ultrafiltration water system.blog comments powered by Disqus