Fiscal court pushes water meter fees to Jan. 1

Published 8:42 am Thursday, October 26, 2017

STANFORD – The Lincoln County Fiscal Court has voted to push the effective date for the collection of water meter fees to Jan. 1, instead of next week. 

Lincoln County had originally planned to begin the collection of the $4 water meter fee – which will be used to fund the regional Bluegrass 911 Communications – Nov. 1. 

“The fiscal court is delaying the implementation of it until Jan. 1 to give everybody a chance to get their computer software done,” said County Attorney Daryl Day this week. 

Day said the fiscal court passed the first-reading of an amended ordinance Tuesday, delaying the implementation, as well as increasing the percentage of fees that will be paid to water companies for their collection services. 

In the original ordinance, water companies were to receive two percent of the fees collected. 

The amended ordinance passed Tuesday morning bumped the percentage up to three percent, Day said. 

“Garrard County had some discussion with at least one of the water companies over there and they had tentatively agreed to three-percent and after some of our discussions, we can’t go as high as 10 percent, which we had one water company requesting. But we did agree to go one-percent more, which would be three percent,” Day said. “10 percent is just a whole lot.” 

The Garrard County Water Association has filed a new appeal asking the Kentucky Supreme Court to deliver a discretionary review, according to Day. 

Day said he’ll be surprised if the Kentucky Supreme Court agrees to hear the case again after the Court of Appeals ruled the water meter fee constitutes a valid user fee. 

“Ultimately, I think the Supreme Court will say, ‘no,’ (and) that they’ve already ruled on that. I may be wrong, but it would shock me if the Supreme Court decides they’re going to hear that again,” he said. 

Day said the Kentucky Supreme Court has not decided on the discretionary review as of this week. 

The Lincoln County Fiscal Court is moving forward with the fees but water companies have a little extra time to develop their collection services. 

“Basically, anyone who is not collecting the $4 per active water meter for us and sending that money, after that time (Jan. 1), we’re just going to have to go to litigation if they won’t do it otherwise,” Day said. 

The $4 landline fees will remain in place until Jan. 1, he added.