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Forster Woods developer would be reimbursed for utility connections
NORTH BEND - The North Bend City Council is currently holding a public hearing regarding a resolution that would create reimbursement fees for the Forster Woods development latecomer agreement.
The first session of the public hearing was last Tuesday at the City Council meeting, when questions about the resolution were answered.
The resolution will determine how much money developers interested in building near the Forster Woods development must pay in order to tap into the existing water and sewer utility lines built by the developer, Forster Woods LP.
North Bend Community Services Director Larry Stockton explained that under North Bend building codes, new developments must construct water and sewer facilities that would allow future developments to tap into them. When those future developments come, they pay the original developer a fee to connect to the system.
George Wyrsch, who owns three service stations in North Bend and some land next to the Forster Woods development, thinks that if he develops in the area that would be served by the Forster Woods water and sewer utilities, he will be picking up some of the tab for additions to the city's infrastructure.
"When it's all done, the city of North Bend will send you the water bill," Wyrsch said. "You're paying for their infrastructure."
Stockton said, however, that the method North Bend uses to provide utility services to new developments is quite common among cities. He explained that in the past, municipalities have had capital funds to build such projects. But higher costs have made them prohibitive, and the only entities willing to pay for them are developers.
He also said the system is attractive to new developers. Since the original developer of the utilities is paid back in non-inflated costs, what a new developer will pay next year will be the same cost they would pay in five years.
"It's a very good deal," Stockton said.
The City Council prefers to have all public comments in by Jan. 15 so it can take action at the Jan. 22 council meeting.