Baldwin — The Baldwin City Council made a slight concession to developers Monday night when it agreed to freeze its recently approved water and sewer hook-up fees for 18 months.
The decision will provide developers with some predictability in their development costs.
That predictability was not afforded to Jerry Donnelly who was in the midst of developing his 150-acre FireTree Estates when the council passed hook-up fees of $1,500 for sewer and $1,500 for water.
That was a $2,650 increase over what he expected to pay per lot.
"It was a shock it was done without notice," Donnelly said.
The 18-month freeze will restore a little bit of comfort, Donnelly said.
"Although 18 months is better than nothing, it would be better if we had at least a 3-year horizon," he said.
Baldwin City Administrator Larry Paine said the city needs revenue from the fees to address its infrastructure needs, particularly its sewage treatment plant, which is operating around 80 percent of its capacity.
"We must begin in earnest getting a treatment plant designed and built," Paine said.
The council approved a second change that will dedicate the money collected through the fees to capital improvement projects. When the fees were passed, the money was put into the utility funds with no strings.
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