Could DeWhite Utility’s new rulings hinder growth?

By | December 28, 2006 12:00 am

Kim Swindell Wood
A White County land developer recently told county commissioners new regulations instituted by DeWhite Utility District could possibly slow down growth in the area serviced by the water provider.
Larry Frasier addressed commissioners during their Dec. 18, 2006, meeting and advised them of the changes in DeWhite’s rulings that will attach additional costs to land development.
Frasier, who has most recently been developing 115 lots off Fred Hill Road, said the added expense might force him to cease his project.
“I want to make you aware of something that’s happening in the western part of our county and is going to impact the growth of our county,” said Fraiser.
According to Frasier, approximately one year ago DeWhite instituted a “ruling” that every subdivision developed in its area of coverage is required to have a meter base installed on each lot, which costs approximately $500 per lot.
“Just a few weeks ago, DeWhite Utility District had come out with six pages of new regulations that are really, in my opinion, bringing things to a screeching halt in the development,” said Frasier. “Three or four items that’s in this report really makes it just about impractical anymore to develop a subdivision west of town.”
In addition to the $500 price tag attached to each individual lot, Frasier said the new DeWhite ruling requires a developer to pay for every water meter in the subdivision, plus a $650 tap fee per lot.
Frasier said he is 80 percent complete with the development of the subdivision on the Fred Hill Road property. He said he has been told he will be “captured” under this new ruling. Also, Frasier said DeWhite would automatically begin charging a minimum water bill for each lot until the lot is sold.
“We don’t have that rule existing in any of the other water districts,” said Frasier. “We work real well with O’Connor [Water District], and they just do a great job. They’re reasonable, and there’s some development going on up there. I’ve had to stop my development. I will not go any further with it.”
Frasier said he has contacted State Representative Charles Curtiss, of White County, who is reportedly researching the legalities of DeWhite’s rulings.
Frasier also talked about a “rule” passed by White County Industrial Board approximately two years ago that stated developers could not use 2-inch or 4-inch water line, but instead they must use 6-inch line or larger.
“So, that kind of took about 60 percent of our land away from developing in the county,” said Frasier.
As of press time, DeWhite Utility District officials could not be reached for comment.
Frasier told commissioners he has a meeting scheduled with DeWhite officials Jan. 2, 2007, to discuss these changes.

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