Steamboat Springs The city of Steamboat Springs and Steamboat II Metropolitan District have reached a tentative agreement in a dispute over water tap fees, negating the need for a court hearing today.
City Attorney Tony Lettunich said under the agreement, the Steamboat II Metro District will pay $203,000 for past tap fees and future tap fees would be paid when building permits are issued.
The city was to go to court today to try to prevent Routt County from issuing building permits in the metro district until the district could prove it had the capacity to meet the water and wastewater needs of new development.
With the interim agreement, Lettunich said the court injunction is no longer necessary.
Negotiations will continue to determine if the district owes any more money for tap fees.
The city believes $388,719 is owed in tap fees, but the district has collected just $203,000, the amount stipulated in former agreements.
The two entities have been negotiating the fees for the past two to three years, Metro District Manager Doug Baker said.
Since Jan. 1, 2000, the district has been collecting tap fees for new development, putting the fees in escrow and waiting for an agreement to be reached, he said.
On Tuesday, the city agreed to charge the metro district an $18 tap fee per fixture for wastewater treatment.
The old agreement called for a flat fee of $400.
The temporary agreement calls for the Silver Spur subdivision to pay half the cost of the city's water tap fees.
Both fees must be paid at the time building permits are approved.
The two entities still must agree on the exact amount owned in tap fees since Jan. 1, 2000.
Disagreement in whose water is used in the Silver Spur subdivision accounts for a $61,930 disparity in water tap fees.
The city claims the subdivision pulls its entire water supply from the city and should have paid a full city tap fee instead of the half-priced tap fee other subdivisions in the district pay.
But Baker said the city water mixes with a tank that holds the district's water before it goes to Silver Spur and the entire metro district.
If the metro district has to collect more money for tap fees, Baker said homeowners who paid tap fees since 2000 would not legally be responsible to pay more.
He said the money would come out of district funds.
Baker said the lawsuit is the result of a breakdown in communication between the city and the metro district.
He said the district was put on the "back burner" during the city's negotiations to consolidate with Mount Werner Water District.