New Round Rock developments could see lower water, wastewater impact fees in 2021

If approved, the proposed version would increase water fees to $4,234 and decrease wastewater fees to $1,799, resulting in a lower total amount of $6,033. (Courtesy city of Round Rock)
If approved, the proposed version would increase water fees to $4,234 and decrease wastewater fees to $1,799, resulting in a lower total amount of $6,033. (Courtesy city of Round Rock)

If approved, the proposed version would increase water fees to $4,234 and decrease wastewater fees to $1,799, resulting in a lower total amount of $6,033. (Courtesy city of Round Rock)

Despite a proposed increase in water impact fees, the city of Round Rock is considering a lower combined water and wastewater impact fee heading into 2021.

On Nov. 12, Round Rock City Council approved holding public hearings Dec. 17 and Jan. 14 for the proposed ordinance, which outlines impact fee proposals on the table in 2021. If approved, the changes would go into effect for new platted properties Feb. 1, said Michael Thane, the city's utility and environmental services director.

Impact fees are defined as "a one-time, up-front payment levied on new or expanded development" to help pay for some of the costs being placed on the city's utility system, per city documents. The concept of impact fees, Thane said, is to ensure growth pays for itself.

Round Rock's impact fees are currently listed as $4,025 for water and $2,099 for wastewater with a combined total of $6,124.

If approved, the proposed version would increase water fees to $4,234 and decrease wastewater costs to $1,799 for a total amount of $6,033.

Round Rock's current and proposed water fees are the median compared to area cities, with rates at $6,921 on the high end in Georgetown and $2,095 on the low end in the Brushy Creek Municipal Utility District.

Per city documents, Round Rock's current wastewater rates are the third lowest, behind Hutto at $1,068 and the Brushy Creek MUD with $1,804. If the city's proposed rate of $1,799 is approved for 2021, it will be the second lowest in the area.

Impact fee costs can be used toward "constructing capital improvements or facility expansions," according to city documents. Eligible impact fee uses include construction contract pricing, surveying, and engineering fees and land acquisition costs.
By Kelsey Thompson
Kelsey Thompson is the reporter for Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto, where her work focuses on education, city government and community development. Originally from Upstate New York, Kelsey relocated to Austin after graduating from Syracuse University in May 2019.


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