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El Paso Water proposing ‘impact fee’ increase for homebuilders

EL PASO, TX (KVIA) -- El Paso Water and the City of El Paso are discussing potential changes to impact fees, which homebuilders pay for the extension of service lines to new housing developments. El Paso water says these fees have remained unchanged since 2009, despite rising construction costs.

Impact fees are charged to builders when they request a new water meter for a new development project in West, East and Northeast El Paso, considered “the new areas.” State statute requires a recalculation of these fees every five years. This year, El Paso Water is proposing an increase as they say this will lower the costs on current ratepayers.

Arturo Duran, El Paso Water Utilities Chief Financial Officer, told ABC7 ratepayers are currently helping recover the costs needed for infrastructure in the new areas, “The more we collect on impact fees, the less the utility has to borrow to finance those projects,” he says.

El Paso Water provided the proposed impact fees to ABC-7, “This is for a typical three quarter inch meter, which is a majority of our residential customers and businesses use,” explained Duran. Current fees for water and wastewater in the Northeast are at $1,469 and could rise to $5,684, if approved. In West El Paso, fees are at $1,586 and could go up to $3257. The east side of El Paso would see the most significant increase, going from $1,617 to $17,981. Duran says this is due to the big increase in new projects, such as the expansion of the Bustamante plan and the advanced water purification facility.

Public input is crucial in the decision, Duran invites community members to participate in the last public meeting that will be held today at the Northeast Regional Command Center from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. El Paso Water will provide feedback from the meetings and different service fee options to City Council on Tuesday, April 23.

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Isabella Martinez


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