Utility Development Fees

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Photo of the Whitaker water tank.

As Missoula grows, the City's sewer and water systems must be able to handle the additional demands from new development. To address this increased demand, the City of Missoula's Public Works & Mobility Department is proposing increases in sewer development fees and the establishment of water development fees. We are seeking public input on these two proposals and would like to answer questions. Please use the tabs at the bottom of this page for comments and questions. In addition, a public hearing will be held on December 7, 2020, when Missoula City Council will take public comment on these proposals. Information on this meeting will be here once available.


Background

The City hired a consultant, FCS Group, to analyze our wastewater and water facility plans and determine how the utilities can pay for the improvements necessary for future growth. They suggested we increase current sewer development fees and establish water development fees so that our sewer and water systems can handle this growth. FCS Group's recommendations are included in the tables below.

Instead of proposing an immediate higher increase in sewer development fees as suggested by FCS Group, the Wastewater Utility is proposing a gradual increase in fees over four years. In addition, Missoula Water proposes a lower initial fee for water development fees with phased-in increases over the next three years. We believe this incremental increase will be enough to cover the costs of system improvements required for new development while keeping the fees as low as possible.


Proposed Sewer Development Fees

Sewer development fees are paid by developers and contractors making new or upsizing current connections to the City sewer system. Development fees pay for the added costs related to increased flow resulting from additional connections to the sewer system. To handle larger flow volumes, the Wastewater Utility must increase the sewer system's capacity by:

  • installing larger mains,
  • increasing pump size, and
  • building or upsizing sewer lift stations.

The City has not increased sewer development fees since 2009, and additional funding is needed so that the sewer system can keep up with increased demand from new development. Only those making new or upsized connections will be charged development fees. This means that the developers and contractors creating the need for increased capacity will pay for the required system improvements instead of the utility having to pass those costs along to all utility customers.

The Wastewater Utility is seeking the following increases to development fees:

Proposed Sewer Development Fees for 2021 through 2024


The table below compares the proposed sewer development fees to those of other Montana cities:

Proposed Sewer Development Fees—Missoula Compared to Billings and Bozeman



Proposed Water Development Fees

Along those same lines, Missoula Water proposes establishing water development fees to pay for the cost of increasing the water system's capacity so that it can handle the additional demand for water from new connections. The fees will be used to:

  • upsize water mains,
  • add new wells,
  • install new water storage tanks, and
  • increase pump size.

Establishing water development fees means that those people responsible for the increased demand on the water system pay for the improvements instead of the costs being passed on to all water customers. Again, water development fees will be paid by developers, contractors, and others making new or upsizing connections to the water system.

Missoula Water seeks to establish water development fees at the following rates:

Proposed Water Development Fees for 2021 through 2024


The table below compares the proposed new water development fees to those of other Montana cities:

Proposed Water Development Fees—Missoula Compared to Billings and Bozeman



Additional Information

FCS Group presented their findings and proposed increases to the City's sewer development fees and suggested the creation of water development fees to City Council's Public Works Committee on October 14, 2020. A PDF version of their presentation is provided on this page under Documents and shows the development fee amounts FCS Group suggests the City increase or establish in order to ensure our sewer and water systems so that these systems are prepared for future growth in Missoula. Note: the City is NOT seeking to establish storm water development fees, but they were shown in the presentation.

Links to the 2019 Wastewater Facility Plan and 2018 Water System Master Plan are included under Documents on this page.

As Missoula grows, the City's sewer and water systems must be able to handle the additional demands from new development. To address this increased demand, the City of Missoula's Public Works & Mobility Department is proposing increases in sewer development fees and the establishment of water development fees. We are seeking public input on these two proposals and would like to answer questions. Please use the tabs at the bottom of this page for comments and questions. In addition, a public hearing will be held on December 7, 2020, when Missoula City Council will take public comment on these proposals. Information on this meeting will be here once available.


Background

The City hired a consultant, FCS Group, to analyze our wastewater and water facility plans and determine how the utilities can pay for the improvements necessary for future growth. They suggested we increase current sewer development fees and establish water development fees so that our sewer and water systems can handle this growth. FCS Group's recommendations are included in the tables below.

Instead of proposing an immediate higher increase in sewer development fees as suggested by FCS Group, the Wastewater Utility is proposing a gradual increase in fees over four years. In addition, Missoula Water proposes a lower initial fee for water development fees with phased-in increases over the next three years. We believe this incremental increase will be enough to cover the costs of system improvements required for new development while keeping the fees as low as possible.


Proposed Sewer Development Fees

Sewer development fees are paid by developers and contractors making new or upsizing current connections to the City sewer system. Development fees pay for the added costs related to increased flow resulting from additional connections to the sewer system. To handle larger flow volumes, the Wastewater Utility must increase the sewer system's capacity by:

  • installing larger mains,
  • increasing pump size, and
  • building or upsizing sewer lift stations.

The City has not increased sewer development fees since 2009, and additional funding is needed so that the sewer system can keep up with increased demand from new development. Only those making new or upsized connections will be charged development fees. This means that the developers and contractors creating the need for increased capacity will pay for the required system improvements instead of the utility having to pass those costs along to all utility customers.

The Wastewater Utility is seeking the following increases to development fees:

Proposed Sewer Development Fees for 2021 through 2024


The table below compares the proposed sewer development fees to those of other Montana cities:

Proposed Sewer Development Fees—Missoula Compared to Billings and Bozeman



Proposed Water Development Fees

Along those same lines, Missoula Water proposes establishing water development fees to pay for the cost of increasing the water system's capacity so that it can handle the additional demand for water from new connections. The fees will be used to:

  • upsize water mains,
  • add new wells,
  • install new water storage tanks, and
  • increase pump size.

Establishing water development fees means that those people responsible for the increased demand on the water system pay for the improvements instead of the costs being passed on to all water customers. Again, water development fees will be paid by developers, contractors, and others making new or upsizing connections to the water system.

Missoula Water seeks to establish water development fees at the following rates:

Proposed Water Development Fees for 2021 through 2024


The table below compares the proposed new water development fees to those of other Montana cities:

Proposed Water Development Fees—Missoula Compared to Billings and Bozeman



Additional Information

FCS Group presented their findings and proposed increases to the City's sewer development fees and suggested the creation of water development fees to City Council's Public Works Committee on October 14, 2020. A PDF version of their presentation is provided on this page under Documents and shows the development fee amounts FCS Group suggests the City increase or establish in order to ensure our sewer and water systems so that these systems are prepared for future growth in Missoula. Note: the City is NOT seeking to establish storm water development fees, but they were shown in the presentation.

Links to the 2019 Wastewater Facility Plan and 2018 Water System Master Plan are included under Documents on this page.

We are happy to answer questions about the proposed sewer and water development fees.

Questions

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