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Published on Friday, March 15, 2013

SEPA and utility latecomer fee bill moves to Senate

HB 1717 was amended on the floor and passed out of the House on March 8. AWC has been working with interested cities and other stakeholders to refine the utility latecomer provisions of this bill. That result of that work was incorporated into the language of floor amendment that was adopted.

As we have reported previously, AWC is working on a path forward on this proposal even though it involves a new mandate for cities related to utility latecomer agreements. We appreciate the fundamental fairness questions being raised by those who pay to install water and sewer infrastructure that later benefits other developments. The intent is to find a way to ensure more certainty around reimbursement for those initial investors, in a way that is workable for cities. It should be noted that the sections of the bill related to utility latecomer fees would go into effect on July 1, 2014, giving cities some time to get systems in place to offer utility latecomer agreements as prescribed in the bill.

We still have some opportunity to continue refining this bill if necessary. It has been referred to the Senate Governmental Operations Committee but not yet scheduled for a public hearing. We encourage you to review this bill and send comments to Dave Catterson.

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