NOLANVILLE — Bell County Water Control and Improvement District No. 3 board members Tuesday discussed raising tap rates for water and sewer to match the higher rates of other entities in the area.

Currently, landowners who want to tap into the WCID-3 water and sewer lines are charged $835 plus an inspection fee, a lower rate than any other surrounding city, Board President Rick Williams said.

“It makes no sense for other districts to charge anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 for a tap fee while we charge so much less,” Williams said, adding that he was curious how the rates were chosen.

“Is it determined by whether you drive up in an old clunker or a new Mercedes?”

Alvin R. “Trae” Sutton III of Kasberg, Patrick and Associates, LP, consulting engineers, said the fees are typically based on water usage and the type of development tapping into the system, while Nita Sims, board member, said other districts and cities could not explain why their fees were so high.

“They told us it would have to be inspected,” she said.

“If Harker Heights charges that much, are we going to be like the Joneses and up our cost?” Vice President James Wilkins said.

Sutton said he would investigate how other small districts, such as Academy and Little River, come up with their fees and recommended the board evaluate their own costs.

The board will visit the rate issue again at its next meeting in March.

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