DEPORT — Residents seeking to turn on water service with the city will pay a higher fee than they have for more than a decade following City Council action Thursday.
The council agreed to increase the new water turn-on fee from $25 to $50 with a $150 deposit. Mayor John Mark Francis said the $50 cost was “kicked down” in the early 2000s by a previous council, and the increase will be a return to the previously-established rate.
A motion to increase the new water meter and/or sewer tap installation fee also was approved, with wording to be added to the ordinance for “special or unforeseen circumstances.”
Francis said for water meters within 15 feet, a $300 fee will be charged. If the distance was greater than 15 feet, an additional $150 per hour for labor and use of city equipment will be charged. For a sewer tap, the fee will be $600 for 15 feet, and if greater than 15 feet, an additional $150 again will be charged for labor and equipment. Deport Public Works Director Danny Turner provided input on the cost and labor estimates, based on his experience and prices in surrounding cities such as Cooper.
“Special or unforeseen circumstances” would be handled on an individual basis, the council decided, and will include situations such as an unusual meter location or a meter far from street access.
Also changing Thursday was the city’s mobile home ordinance. That change will require residents applying for a mobile home to present their request to the Deport City Council first, where previously they would go directly to the mayor. Councilwoman Marilyn Glover made a motion to accept the new ordinance, seconded by councilwoman Rebecca Crawford. The resolution passed 5-0.
The council previously discussed banning new mobile homes at its June meeting in an effort to encourage permanent housing and improve city property values. The mobile home ordinance is currently being discussed and amended, according to Francis.
The council also discussed appointing a town marshal, but the item was tabled until next month’s meeting. Council discussed hosting a roundtable to further detail ticketing and the technicalities of enforcing town ordinances due to the lack of a Deport court system.
Before going into closed session for personnel matters, council members approved the use of a waiver of liability for private property debris and home demolition, and it agreed to table a discussion on a proposed yard maintenance and grass height ordinance.