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CU extension policy to be updated

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by Karen E. Culp

SBJ Staff

City Utilities will have an updated extension policy by this summer, pending a favorable vote on the updated policy by the Board of Public Utilities at its June meeting.

"We haven't updated this policy in more than 10 years, so we've spent considerable time researching and developing a new policy," said John Twitty, deputy general manager for the utility.

The utility held a public hearing on its proposal April 22, and the board heard the proposal at its April 23 workshop. The Springfield Home Builders Association has been interested in the proposal since CU started working on it more than a year ago.

The HBA made one suggestion to the proposal regarding a warranty on developer-installed extensions. CU honored HBA's request, changing the warranty period from two years from the date of conveyance of the extension to CU to one year, Twitty said.

One of the foremost issues with the current extension policy, in place since 1987, is that it does not provide for refunds to be made to developers when they extend gas or water across unserved land.

This new proposal will create a recovery agreement, whereby owners of unserved land will pay a pro-rata share of gas, water or electric when a developer extends such services across their land in order to reach his development. The contract will be for five years with a 7 percent interest rate, and CU will charge a 10 percent administration fee for overseeing the contract.

"This was basically an attempt by us to equitably distribute the cost of extending the system. The fact that we did not have such a policy previously was one of the biggest complaints we heard from developers," Twitty said.

CU will also make some fee increases with this new policy. Engineering and inspection fees for gas and water main inspections will increase from 10 percent to 15 percent, and a 15 percent fee will be assessed on electric underground current engineering and inspection, also. There were previously no such fees on electric.

This policy also has a provision for developer-designed water, gas and electric extensions and will allow a 2 percent reduction in the engineering and inspection fee when designs are prepared by the developer. Designs must meet CU's qualifications and be accepted by the utility.

The cost of extending gas service will increase from $356 plus $2.70 per foot for any footage in excess of 100 feet for residential and commercial services to $435 plus $3.10 per foot for footage in excess of 100 feet.

The standard fees for water services, which are based on the size of the meter, will also increase. One-inch service will be $600 (formerly $380)[[In-content Ad]]

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