A proposal that is slated to come before the Commerce City Council July 19 would significantly hike tap fees for water and sewerage hook-ups in the city.

The move comes as a recommendation from a recent study the city commissioned, a study that indicates the town is almost at capacity with its existing water and sewerage systems.

"Existing plants, distribution and collection systems are near capacity and will require significant capital expenditures to meet new demands," the report states.

The report notes that recently-approved developments will use 100% of the capacity within the next few years. And unless the town raises its tap fees for new construction, existing customers will have to subsidize that development with higher water and sewerage rates.

Under the proposal, residential water tap fees would go from $2,200 to $4,382 and sewer tap fees from $3,500 to $6,000. Other tap fees for larger industrial lines are much higher, up to $1.1 million for a 12-inch meter for wastewater.

The proposed fee schedule is close to other growing nearby towns, such as Jefferson where water tap fees are $3,200 plus city expenses and $5,000 for sewer plus city expenses. Jefferson also levies impact fees on new construction.

The issue of tap fees has implications for a host of proposed developments in Commerce, including the Cook Communities project on Hwy. 441 South that would have over 400 homes and townhomes. The council is also slated to vote on rezoning and variances for that project on July 19.

Higher tap fees could add to the cost of new housing in Commerce and may alter how developers approach future developments in lot and house sizes and construction materials.

Commerce doesn't currently impose impact fees on new construction. 

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