Monday, February 14, 2011

Is the city of Kuna being fair to the Old Town residents when it comes to pressurized irrigation fees?

A proposal to bring irrigation water to a group of houses in what is known as Kuna’s Old Town has come up again for consideration.
About two years ago, the city of Kuna had explored the idea of hooking up a number of houses off Fourth Street, along Franklin, Marteeson and Elm streets, into the city’s pressurized irrigation system.
Currently, those properties can use gravity irrigation by closing off a nearby irrigation canal and flooding their property according to a time schedule for their properties. Alternatively, property owners use potable water to irrigate their lawns. The city charges property owners a flat rate for potable water up to 10,000 gallons then charges users a per gallon fee afterward. Because some landowners use potable water to water their lawns, they end up paying higher water bills every month. Not only has this raised concerns of fairness but the practice also places a higher burden on the city’s potable water system.
But two years ago, when the city approached these homeowners about tying into the pressurized irrigation system, most of those who responded said, “No thank you.” That’s because the city would require a roughly $1,520 connection fee to connect into the system. That’s the same amount that everyone pays when they hook into the irrigation system. Usually, a developer will simply factor that cost into his cost of building a house, but in the case of Old Town homeowners, many have lived in these home for years, even decades in houses that were built years ago.
Still, the city says it’s a fairness issue and that everyone who connects into the pressurized irrigation system must pay the same fee.

1 comment:

slfisher said...

How many of the Old Town residents actually use the flood irrigation system? I know people who live in the area and they say it doesn't work. People shouldn't be using drinking water to water their lawns.

That said, it seems like there's ways to take care of the $1500 fee, particularly if it's simply a matter of fairness rather than that the city needs the money to provide the service. Perhaps like the circuit breaker law for property tax, it could get deferred until they sell the house.