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Green Community
Sewer and Water Service Connection Policy
Town of Colchester
Sewer and Water Commission

Sewer and Water Service Connection Policy

(approved Colchester Sewer and Water Commission on 2-11-1999)
(approved Colchester Board of Selectmen on 3-11-1999)
(Revised and approved by Colchester Sewer and Water Commission on  3-12-03)
(Revised and approved by Colchester Board of Selectmen on  3-20-03)


Purpose:  The purpose of this policy is to define the process to be followed and the applicable charges to be paid when connecting to, or modifying an existing connection to, the Town of Colchester public water system or the Town of Colchester sanitary sewer system.  The sewer portion of these connection policies do not apply to sewer users who have properties that have a specified benefit assessment applied or who have connected through the benefit assessment process.  Properties that were assessed as a minimum lot size, frontage, value, and use that are further subdivided shall be subject to connection fees in accordance with this policy.

Section 1 – Definitions

As used in this policy, terms shall have the following meaning:

A.        Building Permit means the development permit issued by the Town of Colchester Code Enforcement Department before any building or construction activity can be started on a parcel of land in the Town of Colchester.
B.        Commission means the Colchester Sewer and Water Commission or it’s designated representative.
C.        Core Facilities in the case of the water system means the water supply, pumping, treatment, storage, and transmission facilities that generally provide water to the local distribution networks.  In the case of the sewer system it means the wastewater treatment, pumping, and intercepting sewers that collect, transmit, and treat sewage from local street sewers.  As local street sewers can also intercept and transmit sewage, they may also be included as part of the core facilities.
D.        Director means the Director of the Colchester Public Works Department.
E.        Sewer Connection Fee means the fee collected to pay for the cost of capacity in Colchester’s core sewer interception, pumping, and treatment system.
F.        Water Connection Fee means the fee collected to pay for the cost of capacity in Colchester’s core water supply, treatment, pumping, and transmission system.  It does not include payment for the cost of capacity in local water distribution pipes that may be required to receive water from the core system.

SECTION 2 – PAYMENT OF CONNECTION FEE REQUIRED

A.        From the date of approval of this policy, no newly developed property shall be allowed service from the water or sewer system until payment in full of the applicable permit and connection fee(s) has been received by the Town.
B.        Any property that disconnects (including but not limited to meter removed, service turned off, customer dropped from billing list) from the water or sewer system for a period of nine (9) months or more, pays no water or sewer bill for that period, and has not previously paid a connection fee to the Town (in accordance with the November 1991 or a subsequent Connection Policy) shall be considered abandoned and all rights to connect to the water or sewer system shall be forfeited.  Should the owner of the property petition to make a new connection to the water or sewer system, they shall be considered a new connection and shall follow the procedures outlined in this Section.
C.        Capacity rights shall not continue indefinitely for any property that disconnects from the water or sewer system and has ceased payment of water or sewer bills for that period, regardless of any previous payment of a connection fee to the Town.  Any such owner that requests reconnection of such property more than three (3) years after disconnection shall be subject to payment of a new connection fee under this Section.
D.        For properties proposing to connect to the water or sewer system, the owner must obtain the applicable water and/or sewer connection permit prior to being issued a building permit.  The applicant must provide estimates of average and peak daily uses to the Town when applying for a water or sewer connection permit.
E.        Applicants requesting new water or sewer service shall be required to pay a connection fee to the Town of Colchester for a property proposed for connection to the Town’s water and/or sewer system.  In the case of new construction, the applicable connection fee(s) shall be paid in full prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy.  If no Certificate of Occupancy is required, payment of the connection fee(s) in full is required prior to the initiation of service.
F.        Any property requesting an enlarged sewer or water connection or an increase in water meter size shall be subject to a water and/or sewer connection fee equal to the difference in the charge for a new service or meter size and the current size.  Properties that request a reduction in water or sewer service or meter size shall not be eligible for a refund or rebate.  However, said property shall have the right to increase the water or sewer service size or meter size to the original (larger) size with no further charge.  In all cases, the size of the water meter needed to accurately measure use shall be determined by the Director.

SECTION 3.  AVAILABILITY OF SERVICE

A.        Provisions of this Policy do not entitle any property to receive water or sewer service.  Service will only be provided as approved by the Commission.  If approved, service will be provide at a location and under the conditions approved by the Commission.
B.        If sewer collection or water distribution pipes are not, in the opinion of the Director, available to serve the property, do not have sufficient capacity for the intended use, or are not in a public right-of-way abutting the property, the property owner may request the right to extend the water or sewer systems to the property.  The Commission is under no obligation to approve such extensions.
C.        Any property that applies for a Change of Use through the Town Zoning Department shall be reviewed by the Commission for consistency with this policy and applicable standards.  If sewer or water service lines (and/or water meter) are not, in the opinion of the Director, sufficient to suitably service the property for the intended use, the Director may reject the application.  The property owner shall request the right to enlarge the sewer or water service line, add an additional water or sewer service line, and/or increase the water meter size.  The Commission is under no obligation to approve such enlargements or additional services.  If such enlargements or additional services are approved, the applicable connection fee(s) as identified in Section 2 shall apply.
D.        The property owner, not the Town of Colchester, shall be responsible for extending water distribution and/or sewer collection pipes to serve the property of an applicant for service.  All such extensions shall be done in accordance with directions of the Commission.
E.        The water and/or sewer extension shall be deeded to the Town of Colchester (at no cost to the Town) upon acceptance by the Town and in accordance with any testing and maintenance requirements.  The Town, at its sole discretion, may allow subsequent connections to such extensions without any reimbursement to any party.
F.        Any party that receives permission for water and/or sewer service shall assume all costs of the connection from the Town’s right-of-way to the structure(s) to be served.  Tapping, curb stops, and shut-off valves shall be provided and installed as required by the Director and the cost of such installations shall be the responsibility of the property owner.  Water meters shall be provided and installed by the Town, with the size of the meter to be determined by the Director based on the service requirements information provided in the connection permit.  The cost of the meter installation, including materials, labor, and overhead shall be separate from the connection fee and shall be paid in full prior to service being initiated.  The cost of any change in meter size whether directed by the Town or at the property owner’s request, shall also be paid in full before reinitiating service.  The determination of costs under this section shall be by the Director.

SECTION 4.  CONNECTION FEE SCHEDULE

A.        Sewer and Water Connection Fees shall be established by the Board of Selectmen upon recommendation of the Sewer and Water Commission in accordance with Town Charter and Connecticut General Statutes.  The fees may be revised from time to time as determined by the Board of Selectmen.
B.        Sewer and Water Connection Fees shall be assessed based on the size of the customer’s meter or service size, whichever is less, based on the most recent schedule of charges adopted by the Board of Selectmen.
C.        Properties with individual premises shall be individually metered with individual accessible shut-offs.
D.        Properties with multiple meters shall be assessed water and /or sewer connection fees for each water meter.  Services in excess of two (2) in. shall be reviewed and assessed individually in accordance with the most recent schedule of charges adopted by the Board of Selectmen.
E.        The Commission shall review the permit and connection fees at least every three years.  If the Commission believes adjustments in the water and/or sewer connection fees are warranted, they shall make recommendations to the Board of Selectmen for such adjustments.

SECTION 5.  REFUNDS

A.        At the sole option of the Town, the connection permit and fee may be canceled and refunded, or subject to change, if the service connection is not completed within nine months from the date of application for the water and/or sewer service.
B.        If the service connection permit has been canceled and refunded for any reason, the applicant shall pay new connection fees according to the applicable schedule in effect at the time of the new application.


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