Magnolia City Council members unanimously voted to increase the city’s water and wastewater impact fees at an Oct. 9 meeting, raising the cost for new developments to tap into the city’s water systems.

Water and sewer impact fees— one-time fees collected to fund a new water user’s share of the city’s water or wastewater capacity—increased from $1,500 to $2,365 for water usage and $3,000 to $8,147 for wastewater usage.

City Administrator Paul Mendes said in an interview that the city conducted a study in 2008 showing the need for these changes, however the city was reluctant to increase the impact fees at that time.

“We haven’t changed the rates in years, and things were moving very slowly,” Mendes said. “It was costing more to upgrade or build new facilities than we were making [because of the rates].”

The new impact fees will only affect future developments coming to the city of Magnolia, Mendes said. This does not affect users already tapped into the city’s water and wastewater systems.

“To continue to provide for the city of Magnolia we needed to increase the fees,” he said.

Each new connection to the city’s water and/or wastewater system is required to pay the appropriate impact fees before construction can begin, according to the city’s utility fee schedule.

To prepare for coming residential and commercial development, Magnolia city officials are also working to expand the capacity of the city’s existing wastewater treatment plant by 750,000 gallons, a project estimated to cost about $14 million, Mendes said during the October meeting.

Magnolia City Council meets again Nov. 13.