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Buy-in fees basics: helpful to know these

Letter to the Editor

I would like to applaud all of the candidates for both mayor and city council in the upcoming Grangeville city election. As a former 10-year council member and active participant in establishing and adopting the current Equity Buy-in Fee structure for the City of Grangeville water and sewer system, I thought it might be helpful to point out the basic idea behind the engineer’s recommended fees. As water and sewer rate payers in the city of Grangeville, you have invested 10’s of millions of dollars in the last 15 years in infrastructure improvements and government mandated construction. Do you support allowing new construction and users to hook into your system without paying back some of the investment you have made over the years? The “Equity Buy-in Fees” are simply that. Nobody likes fees, but everyone dislikes paying someone else’s fees.

I found that I knew much more about the working of city government before I was appointed to the council than I did at any time during 10 years on the council. It is actually a steep learning curve with the frustration of finding out that most of what you do is dictated by forces beyond your control such as federal and state mandated programs and requirements. You quickly realize that your responsibilities can be condensed down to:

  • Keep the water running into homes
  • Keep the sewer running out of homes
  • Keep the parks looking nice
  • Keep the streets passable
  • Maintain fire and police protection
  • Balance the budget for all of the above.

Not very glamorous, but thank you to all who serve and all who have served.

Brian Lorentz



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