City to waive utility tap fees for residential development

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Tecumseh City Council members approved a recommendation by City Manager Kevin Welch on Monday, April 1, that would offer an incentive program for new residential construction. The plan would include waiving sewer and water tap fees for a period of time.

“It would be kind of an experiment, because I don’t believe we’ve ever done this before and not too many communities have,” said Welch. “I’d like to suggest that we offer this program whether it’s a construction company or a homeowner who builds a new residential home.” Welch added that the city has incentive programs for industrial development but not residential, and waiving fees would be one of the few things that the city might be able to offer to help stimulate development.

For the period of April 1, 2013 through June 30, 2016, one-inch water and six-inch sewer tap fees would be waived by the city for all residential units started during that period. For the period July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017, fees would be 50 percent of what they are today, with one-inch water tap fees being $1,250 and six-inch sewer tap fees being $1,250 for all residential units started during that period.

Effective July 1, 2017, all tap fees would revert back to the amount in effect on March 31, 2013.

In a report provided to council, Welch noted that in all cases, the developer is responsible to pay the city for the actual material cost the city will incur for installation of the tap, if applicable. Boring costs, if any, would be the responsibility of the developer. City labor charges, during normal working hours, would not be charged to the developer.

He also noted that the city reserves the right to terminate or modify the incentive plan at any time, and the incentive would be effective only if construction activity takes place during the incentive dates.

Welch also shared a recent communication from the Michigan Municipal League regarding new rules Gov. Rick Snyder is planning to put in place as part of the EVIP (Economic Vitality Incentive Program) reporting process. New rules include posting information such as salaries and budget information, which Welch said cities already do, only the state wants it to be added to additional sites.

“I think we can anticipate that they are going to add some new requirements each year in order to earn the money,” said Welch. He added that more clarification is needed on the program in order to properly comply.

In other business at Monday night’s meeting, the council members:
• Approved the issuance of a municipal credit card to department heads and to modify the current credit card policy to accommodate it. Currently, the city only has one such credit card and the city manager must be available to authorize its use. Welch said not all department heads would require the card, and the action would reduce the number of special checks being issued. The cards are for city-related business only.

• Appointed Rhonda Nowak, Jean Lash, and Jim Lincoln to the Downtown Development Authority Board to fill vacant unexpired terms. Their terms would expire in August of 2017.

• Approved activities for the 2013 Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony on Monday, May 27, starting at 10 a.m. Parade Marshal Gary Naugle said activities would include participation by a U.S. Navy Honor Guard, World War II airplane pilots, and others.

• Authorized the Tecumseh Parks and Recreation Department to host a 5k Trail Run on Sunday, June 9, during the Promenade Tecumseh Historic Home Tour weekend. A circular route is planned, beginning at the Smith Recreation Center, through non-motorized pathways and sidewalks to the Burt Street entrance of Indian Crossing Trails Park and back.




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