County may revisit fining builders

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 3, 2006

County officials may revisit a plan to charge builders a $500 fee if they don’t advise Union-Rome Sewer District officials of their building plans and pay the required connection fee prior to construction.

Nearly two weeks ago, the Lawrence County Commission

approved the $500 fee as a way of keeping track of who is building what where and as a mean of punishing those who try to get sewer service without paying for it, which, they said, has happened before.

Email newsletter signup

Sewer district rules stipulate that the connection fee must be paid prior to construction. But Thursday, a group of developers and others from the eastern end showed up at the commission meeting to express their concerns about the idea.

“Why is it and why is it needed?” homebuilder Jeff Hutchinson asked. Hutchinson told the commission he typically gets the house partially completed before paying his connection fee and asking for a grinder pump, if one is needed, and the amount of time elapsed between then is usually only three or four months. He told the commission he and most other homebuilders are honest and are not trying to cheat the system.

“When it comes to people paying prior to (construction), the point there is if someone goes in and builds in an area we can’t add any more houses to, then what?” Lawrence County Commission President George Patterson said.

Commissioners agreed they would sit down with developers and talking about the fee and see if changes are needed before enforcing the $500 fee.

“We want to make it fair for everyone,” Commissioner Jason Stephens said.