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Arkansas-side board OKs new Texarkana Water Utilities fees

Arkansas-side board OKs new Texarkana Water Utilities fees

October 16th, 2018 by Karl Richter in Texarkana News

Photo by Gazette Staff

Texarkana Water Utilities may charge new fees, the Texarkana, Ark., Board of Directors decided Monday.

The board voted five to one to allow the new fees, which the Texarkana, Texas, City Council previously also had approved.

TWU will begin charging:

  • $100 for every two hours of smoke testing,
  • $250 for every three hours spent inspecting water mains via closed circuit television,
  • $100 for fire hydrant flow tests requested by customers,
  • $135 for backflow testing,
  • $60 per liquid waste transport permit, and
  • $15 per septic waste manifest book.

The fees for smoke testing, inspecting mains via closed circuit television and fire hydrant flow tests are new, meaning fees have not been charged for these services in the past.

However, fees have been in place for backflow testing, liquid waste transport permits and septic waste manifest book. Monday's action by the board will slightly increase these existing fees.

TWU Executive Director J.D. Phillips emphasized to the board that the fees are meant to offset costs of services provided.

Ward 2 Director Laney Harris voted against the measure, and Ward 3 Director Tim Johnson was absent.

In other business, the board continued to consider new land use rules to accommodate smaller homes.

Proposed changes to city ordinances would allow single-family residences on lots smaller than those where home construction is now allowed. The changes are recommended by the city Planning Commission, which took up the matter after Mayor Ruth Penney-Bell asked them to look into the "tiny house" movement.

Living in tiny houses—typically defined as less than 400 square feet in size but often as small as 100 square feet—has become a trend among cost-conscious homeowners aiming to simplify their lives.

The board heard a second reading of an ordinance that would enact the changes. A third reading and vote will follow at the board's next regular meeting, scheduled for Nov. 5.

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