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Split vote on lowering fee for Nhamp. water hookup

JACKSON – During the Northampton Commissioner’s regular meeting here on Monday, the Board discussed the Squire Road waterline relocation project and the hookup fees involved.

The project began last year to replace the existing county water line on the road located near Gaston. A question came before the Board regarding how much to charge for an initial hookup fee for a property on that road which wasn’t previously using the county water service.

According to County Manager Kimberly Turner, this fee is typically $850. That figure is broken down into approximately $400 in parts and $400 in labor. During a county water phase upgrade, however, this fee is reduced to $50, she explained, to encourage people to hook up to the new water lines to make the work cost effective.

The Board voted on whether or not to charge $50 for the resident of Squire Road requesting the new hookup, even though the work is not part of any phase upgrades.

The voted passed in favor of the $50 fee by a narrow 3-2 margin. Commissioners Geneva Faulkner, Charles Tyner, and Chester Deloatch voted in the affirmative. Commissioners Robert Carter and Fannie Greene voted against because the relocation project is not a phase upgrade.

The commissioners all agreed, however, that the usual $850 fee was high. They decided to further discuss changing that policy at a later meeting.

Turner explained the cost of the waterline project only planned to cover the properties on the road, which were already using county water. The county’s enterprise fund will have to be used to cover the additional cost for the new hookup.