During a Trousdale County Water and Sewer Utility Board meeting, the board approved some changes to the agreement developers sign for installation of utilities.

The development water and sewer service agreement was amended to increase the percentage of installation costs that the developer pays from 10% to 15%.

The board’s decision to update the developer’s agreement was unanimous. The items that will be covered by the increase are engineering fees and administrative expenses connected to providing utility service for development.

According to the water and sewer board chair, Heather Bay, the department has almost 200 new requests for service.

“Today’s cost for any individual, developer, or water and sewer department has drastically increased,” Bay said. “The 5% installation fee increase was the only increase alteration agreed upon for the agreement.”

Bay indicated that there were multiple additional changes and options discussed that could have been added to the development agreement, which were ultimately not.

“(The increase) ought to cover those costs,” said Tommy McFarland, the Trousdale County water superintendent.

Other changes were made in the document per the agreement.

“He recommended adding two lines to this document’s legal wording so that a person can’t sell off or give this contract over to someone else without our approval,” McFarland said.

The first of those two lines states that “the utility only agrees with the developer, not any other party, to provide water service to the subdivision under the terms of this contract.”

The contract cannot be transferred to any other person without first being revisited by the utility board.

The developer will also have to convey to the utility any easements on their property required by the utility for the construction, operation and maintenance of the utilities water and or sewer system for the subdivision. It also covers any future water or sewer-system improvements for the utility’s service area.

Should the utility have to resort to using eminent domain for such easements, the developer will be liable to reimburse it for all costs the utility incurs, including damage awards, attorney fees and court costs, as well as appraisals, surveying and engineering expenses.

Additional movesThe board also approved a new work vehicle and deferred the request to purchase various pieces of large-scale equipment with the new federal funding at this time.

The department has purchased 60 new fire hydrants, which required replacement.

“I hope to see them operating soon,” Bay said. “They are either hard to repair or lack the support equipment needed to keep in excellent working condition.”

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