City of Hickory Seeks Public Input Regarding Water and Sewer System Development Fees Pursuant to North Carolina House Bill 436

The City of Hickory recently commissioned WR Martin to analyze its Water and Sewer System Development Fees (SDFs) considering current events, in order to ensure compliance with North Carolina House Bill 436 (HB 436).

House Bill 436 was ratified to address fee inconsistencies among public providers, including calculation methodologies and implementation. The new law provides specific guidelines that public water and sewer providers must follow to charge SDFs effective October 1, 2017.

System Development Fees are designed to recover all or a portion of the capital investment made by the City to provide sufficient capacity in its system to serve new users. It should be emphasized that SDFs are charged to only new customers and consequently save existing users substantial capital costs over time.

WR Martin's analysis focused on reviewing the latest available fixed asset information and debt service costs, as of June 30, 2018, to determine the cost of capacity for the City, and on developing other assumptions necessary to establish appropriate fee levels for different types of customers using the American Water Works Association (AWWA) System Buy In approach.

A copy of the SDF analysis and the City's recommendations are available to review at This analysis documents the results of the various analyses and our recommendations for implementing SDFs to be charged to new customers connecting to the water and sewer systems.

Per HB 436 guidelines, the City of Hickory is required to offer a 45-day public comment period on the SBF analysis and its recommendations.

To submit a public comment in response to the SDF analysis, please follow the link on the City of Hickory's web page under Public Utilities.

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