Polk changes tap fee in water policy to $700

Published 7:33 pm Friday, January 10, 2014

by Leah Justice
Polk County residents can get public water for much cheaper prices as commissioners approved changing the county’s water policy to include $700 tap fees.
Previously tap fees in the water policy were $1,200 during the construction of a waterline and $1,500 at other times.
The county had a discount in place for anyone in the county who was close enough to hook onto a waterline to pay a $700 tap fee in an attempt to gain more customers.
The discount was good while the county was running a main trunk line along Hwy. 109 to Hwy. 108, from the Peniel Road intersection to the Mill Spring crossroads.
The Polk County Board of Commissioners met Jan. 6 and unanimously approved changing the water policy.
Commissioner Tom Pack said he’d been in contact with Inman-Campobello Water District (ICWD), which operates Polk’s water system.  “I’ve been in contact with Jeff Walker and they have agreed to continue to install taps for the county for $700 per tap and I think we should pass this savings onto the citizens,” Pack said.
Commissioners agreed to leave the current participation fee as is, which is $1,500 in the policy. Residents who request the county extend a waterline or who tap onto a main trunk line after installation are required to pay the participation fee.
Commissioners approved a $1,353,491.59 bid on June 17, 2013 to extend its waterline from Peniel Road in Green Creek to the Hwy. 9 crossroads in Mill Spring. Along with that decision commissioners decided to offer a discount on tap fees (for a ¾ inch tap) for anyone in the county that could tap onto the county’s water system. The $700 tap fee also included no participation fees. The discount was valid between July 1 and the end of 2013.
Some residents expressed concern over the discount particularly residents who had recently paid $1,200 tap fees plus participation fees for waterlines. At the time commissioners said at the time they felt badly for the people who paid higher tap fees but the county needs to grow its system and ICWD could install tap fees for $700 at the time of the discount.
The county needs at least 1,000 customers before it can move forward with constructing a water plant and start using water from Lake Adger, which the county owns, as a future water source.
The Hwy. 9 waterline currently being constructed will connect Polk’s system regionally and once complete, shut down the county’s system at the middle school/recreation complex. Once completed, current county well customers will be served through the county’s water source it purchases from Broad River Water Authority. The county owns a waterline that crosses through Green Creek connecting Broad River and ICDW and is able to extend lines from the main trunk line.
The first half of construction of the Hwy. 9 waterline was finished in October 2013. It will take a few more months of construction left before completion of the entire project.

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