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Rincon, Towne Park West developers discuss water deal
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Developers of The Springs at Towne Park West are trying to get the city of Rincon to cut them some slack on water-related costs as part of a water agreement.

At a workshop Tuesday, the council reviewed the requests from Continental Properties.

City planner LaMeisha Hunter explained that the developers want to provide and install their own meters and as a result receive a deduction in their tap fees. They also want a waiver of the water deposit.

The developers use a certain type of meter for all their properties and have their own monitoring system.
The standard tap fee is $750 per unit. The council tried to determine how much of that would need to be credited to the developers for installing their own meters.

“If somebody else is willing to put in 352 meters and we don’t have to do that work, and we can have our crews do another thing, that’s a lot, a lot of days of work for our public works department that they don’t have to do,” Councilman Lamar Crosby noted.

City employees would still have to inspect the meters, which costs about $175 each.

Everyone agreed that the city could deduct the fee of the meter and the labor to install them. The council instructed Hunter to consult public works director Tim Bowles about the cost per hour to install each one.

“We’re on the same path; we’re just trying to get there,” said Councilman Ken Baxley.

Councilman Reese Browher questioned who would be held responsible for malfunctioning meters years down the road.

“If they’re gonna use something different than what we’re using in other areas, they’re gonna have to supply it,” answered interim City Manager David Schofield. “That would be my thinking.”

However, Baxley said he would like the city to get some spare meters in case they need to replace some in the future.

The council was less flexible on the waiver of the water deposit.

Hunter noted that the developers have two options — either pay one water deposit and be reimbursed as each tenant moves in or have each tenant pay a water deposit to the city.

Continental Properties, however, wants to be billed as one property for water instead of as 352 individual units.
The councilmen balked at the idea.

Browher asked the group how would the city be able to note excessive amounts of water being used by a particular tenant if there is just one huge bill for the whole community.

“Just as EPD has control over the water, we need to have control over the city water,” Mayor Ken Lee protested. “And we don’t have control over it when we enter into something like this.”

The council was adamant about having 352 bills and deposits.

“We’re not gonna give them one master bill of “x” thousands of dollars; we’re gonna give them 352 bills, one for each unit, so that we know how much each unit is using,” Crosby said.

However, the council is looking into crediting the developers for installing a larger water line than what they require.
The developers only need an eight-inch line. However, they want to install a 12-inch line. Doing so is expected to benefit other businesses in the area. Therefore, the council is willing to credit their impact fees, as a result, pending engineering approval of the lines.

So far, the discussion between the city and Continental Properties has just been verbal. Hunter will now proceed with a written water agreement based on the council’s decisions at the workshop and Bowles’ input on the tap fee reduction.

The agreement will be presented to the council at Monday’s city council meeting for approval.