The Starkville Board of Aldermen voted to raise fees for installing 3/4-inch and 1-inch water taps at its meeting last Tuesday.
The vote passed by a 4-2 vote, with Ward 6 and 7 Aldermen Roy A. Perkins and Henry Vaughn opposed to the fee revision. Ward 4 Alderman Richard Corey was absent for the vote.
The change in fee means people building new homes in Starkville will have to pay 6.6 percent more to install a 3/4-inch water tap and 9.1 percent more to have a 1-inch water tap installed than they would before the measure was approved.
Starkville Public Works Director Doug Devlin said the increases are necessary given the changes in prices of water meters since the last time the department conducted a detailed review of price changes in 2007.
“Now the prices of materials and equipment to install these water services has increased substantially,” Devlin said.
Estimated figures in the board’s e-packet indicate the price of 3/4-inch brass water meters increased by 12 percent from 2011 to 2012.
Devlin said SPW also had to take into account labor costs as well as fuel and equipment depreciation costs associated with meter installation.
Another contributing factor to the price increase, Devlin said in the e-packet, is that the city has had to change tapping saddles with stainless steel straps since 2007 after noticing the previously installed galvanized steel straps were corroding in less than 15 years of service.
Devlin said this fee only applies to those who are building new houses and will have no effect on tenants or people who already have meters installed.
“The only ones who pay those fees are the people who built new houses,” Devlin said. “Any time a new home is built or new apartments, that’s the charge to set up the new services.”