Brewery’s Request Leads To Payment Plan Policy

SALISBURY – A request made by a local brewery stimulated the Mayor and City Council to approve a resolution on a Water and Sewer Capacity Fee Payment Plan.

During Monday night’s City Council meeting, the council voted unanimously to approve a policy proposed by Mayor James Ireton to allow for the payment of water and sewer capacity fees over periods of up two years.

Those who will be qualified for the payment plan will be developers who propose new projects that use more than two Equivalent Dwelling Units (EDU) or existing property owners who want to increase their usage by more than two EDU’s. One EDU equals 250 gallons of water usage used per day.

The payment plan allows property owners to pay 20 percent or two EDU minimum down payment and up to 80 percent of the capacity fee over a one- to two-year period.

The policy was inspired by a request from Evolution Craft Brewery to pay the capacity fee for a proposed new pub over time. The city believes the brewery will most likely be the first business to take advantage of the payment plan. The new pub is proposed to be placed where the former Messick’s Ice Plant was on Vine Street.

The current policy requires the payment capacity fees in a lump sum at the time that the water meter is set.

“These capacity fees are used to help fund water and sewer projects which are growth related as part of our capital improvement plan,” City Administrator John Pick said during Monday night’s meeting.

The capacity fees are used to finance planned future improvements as well.

The fees will also be used to reimburse the city for costs of “recent improvements and includes debt service on prior growth related improvements that have not been retired in the water and sewer rate structure.”

Councilwoman Terry Cohen complemented the owner of Evolution Craft Brewery for his request and his words, “I want to be fair.”

“I think that is what we’re striving to do here and it is good to hear from someone who is striving to develop business here in Salisbury,” Cohen said during Monday night’s meeting. “I really appreciate the spirit with which this policy came together.”

Ireton added, “We made Salisbury more business friendly, cleaning up many issues involving bond bills from this year and previous years. We had friendly amendments and a cordial atmosphere. We can be proud of our work.”