proposed for outside customers wishing to join Water Authority
By Peter Rebhahn
The Green Bay Press-Gazette
ASHWAUBENON - Water customers outside a consortium of
Green Bay suburbs would pay an additional fee to join
the suburbs’ water system under a plan discussed Wednesday.
The so-called development fee would be paid by residents
and businesses who request water service from a member
community of the Central Brown County Water Authority.
"It’s not something to penalize; it’s to recover
costs we’ve already incurred," said authority President
The fee would be relatively small, ranging from $50 to
a high of $250, and based upon the size of water service
The Water Authority communities are Allouez, Ashwaubenon,
Bellevue, De Pere, Hobart, Howard, Lawrence and Ledgeview.
The proposed development fee is the second fee proposed
by the authority, which plans to serve residents of its
member communities with Lake Michigan drinking water in
coming years, either via a suburbs-only pipeline or a
purchase agreement with the city of Green Bay.
The Water Authority communities will sign a members-agreement,
perhaps as soon as September, that will bind them to a
minimum annual water purchase from the authority regardless
of whether the authority signs a deal with Green Bay or
opts for its own pipeline.
The two proposed fees are among other requirements of
the complicated members-agreement, which was drafted in
2000 but never approved by the authority’s communities.
One option under long discussion was a one-time connection
fee of at least several hundred dollars for each new water
customer hooking up to any member community’s water system
regardless of the customer’s location.
The connection fee would likely be paid at the time a
home owner, developer or builder requests a building permit.
Its purpose would be to force future water customers to
pay for the cost of system capacity that must be built
today and paid for by today’s ratepayers.
The second fee, the development fee, addresses a second
inequity built into the proposed members-agreement - how
to get future users who join the authority’s water system
from outside authority communities to shoulder some of
the planning costs that residents in member communities
have borne to make a lake-water system a reality.
Brown County Planner and authority consultant Mike Parmentier
said the water authority and its predecessor have spent
about $1.5 million since 1989, the year Brown County’s
suburbs got serious about a long-term solution for a dwindling
supply of low-quality groundwater.
That money has come from taxpayers in the Water Authority
communities in the form of annual operating dues paid
by each community.
The authority plans to modify a term in its draft members-agreement
that virtually prohibits a member community from selling
water to residents or businesses outside its or another
member's boundaries, forcing the need for some sort of