2007-01-27 / Editorials & Letters

Wells says developers need to pay their fair share

Editor:

Have you read your letter from Licking County about the proposed rate increases for the Buckeye Lake Sewer District? The district serves Buckeye Lake Village, Harbor Hills, Avondale, Edgewater Beach, Hollywood, Lakeside, West Bank, Leibs Island, South Bank, Shell Beach, FairfieldBeach, Custer's Point and Snug Harbor. A public meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 31 at Lakewood High School to hear from residents about the increase that will take effect in February. The Licking County Commissioners may vote on the resolution as early as February 1 or February 5.

Additional increases are scheduled for January 1, 2008, January 1, 2009, January 1, 2010, January 1, 2011 and January 1, 2012. Your sewer bill will increase to $49 per month on February 1. By January 2012, your sewer bill will be at least $62.40 per month.

Expansion of the Buckeye Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant is a good thing because it will allow for new residential and commercial development. But the question is: WHO SHOULD PAY FOR IT? This expansion project affects residents around the lake in Licking, Fairfieldand some in Perry County.

The Licking County Commissioners have the authority to increase the rates for the entire district.

Sewer rates are often calculated on metered water. Since that's NOT a luxury for most of us, we are all forced to pay a pre-set sewer rate. It matters not whether you live alone; only use your cottage on the weekends or flysouth for the winter - you pay the same rate as a 'year around' family of six. This means some of us are already paying more than our fair share.

NOW, the Commissioners want us to pay for MULTIPLE families - the current and future developments around the lake. HOW IS THIS FAIR?

More of the burden needs to fall to the developers. More houses demand more sewer capacity and the extension of sewer lines. What does that have to do with my personal sewer bill? NOTHING! It is reasonable to ask me to pay for costs associated with maintaining the current capacity level and my current sewer line. But it's NOT reasonable to ask me to pay for more capacity and more lineal foot of line so a new project can be built. Those costs need to be paid by the developer directly or via impact fees.

I recently built a new carriage house in Cranberry Bay across the street from my lake cottage. I didn't ask my neighbors to contribute to the cost of that structure. Why should I help subsidize the new development in my neighborhood or across the lake?

Our local villages, townships and counties need to step up to the plate, put aside territorial mindsets and work together to develop a common approach in holding developers accountable for costs associated with their projects.

New development is a good thing if it's self supporting and enhances our community. Development that forces the rest of us to pay the bill is not a good thing. It's as simple as that.

Mark your calendars NOW for the 7 p.m. meeting on January 31 at Lakewood Auditorium.

Peggy Wells Buckeye Lake

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