Developers appeal Indian Hills sewer connection fee

Developers in Indian Hills have taken their protest to the Supreme Court over connection fees to a new sewer plant.

DGD Corp., J.S. Davco, Syncon Homes and John Serpa argue they shouldn't have to pay a $4,975 connection fee for 400 new homes that will use the new sewage plant because that puts the entire cost of the new facility on new homes instead of spreading it across the existing 2,000 homes as well.

They were turned down by the Indian Hills General Improvement District board, which said if not for the 400 new homes, the old 500,000-gallon-a-day treatment plant would not have needed expansion.

The district built a $1.78 million, 600,000-gallon-a-day plant to handle the growth.

In a July ruling, Douglas County District Judge Mike Gibbons supported the district board saying there was no evidence of fraud, that the meeting to set the rates was properly noticed and that there were no statutory procedural violations.

He also pointed out that the fee was similar to the $4,804 fee charged older homes when they originally connected to the old plant.

The board arrived at the connection fee by dividing the construction costs by the 400 new homes - which comes to $4,457 apiece. Then they added in the other costs of making the connection to each home for the $4,975 total.

The developers appealed, arguing that because 400 homes is only one sixth of the total number connected to the plant, they should be responsible for only one sixth of the cost - $297,117. Divided among the 400 new homes, they said that comes to only $743 a month. With those same extra costs added on, they said their total connection fee should be only $1,261 per home.

No arguments have been scheduled in the case.


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