JIM LYNCH: A plea for sewer hookup charge.

  • JIM LYNCH: A plea for sewer hookup charge.

I give the floor this morning to Jim Lynch, former city government administrator, retired academic and eternal civic activist, on the Little Rock Board of Directors vote next week on a sewer impact fee.

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It’s a simple proposal and so routine that even growing cities in Republican Northwest Arkansas use such fees to build reserves to help blunt the cost of future growth. Little Rock, in its annex-to-Fort Smith strategy, has never put a sufficient charge on new developments to pay for their additional burden on city services. The famous mantra: “It will pay for itself.” It never has.

So now the city is considering some modest fees for first-time sewer hookups. The small charges will be passed by builders to buyers, naturally. The $275 charge for a new home might add a dollar to the cost of a 30-year mortgage payment.

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We know the immense cost of not providing a fund for the future. That occurred when Little Rock sprawled into a new drainage basin in the west and gravity flow to the existing treatment plant wasn’t possible. A new plant had to be built.

Read what Jim Lynch has to say.

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