The New Braunfels City Council approved an ordinance during their July 25 meeting to adopt a municipal utility district,or MUD, petition filing fee. Unlike other neighboring municipalities, New Braunfels did not previously charge to process MUD development requests.

A MUD is a special district that functions as independent and limited government. The purpose of a MUD is to provide a developer with an alternate way to finance infrastructure.

“Charging fees for development applications are intended to cover the cost of services provided so that the taxpayer is not covering the cost of the staff and third-party time spent processing these developer applications,” said Christopher Looney, planning and development services director for the city of New Braunfels.

City Council was shown a presentation regarding the MUD petition filing fee, which included a review of the process and breakdown of how much time city departments spend on the applications. On average, among other city staff members, the assistant planning director and assistant city attorney spend 10 hours independently reviewing MUD applications.

According to the presentation, the city of San Marcos charges $15,844, and the city of Denton charges $19,210 in MUD petition filing fees.

Based on calculations of actual time spent plus overhead and operating expenses, New Braunfels city staff recommended a fee of $18,055.12 for filing MUD petitions. A county recordation fee, a 3% technology fee and reimbursement agreement in the event of actual costs exceeding the petition application fee will also be added to the charge.

The ordinance was approved unanimously by New Braunfels council members.