The Cortez Sanitation District is right to revisit tap fees, or plant investment fees, for hotels and RV parks. Kudos to board members for their willingness to do that.
While some of them don’t remember high up-front investments for sewer services as a reason hotels have not located in Cortez, that is an issue that has been discussed before, nearly every time new rates have been set.
And while the cost of connection to the wastewater-treatment infrastructure, as well as the eventual replacement of that infrastructure, must be covered, the fee should not influence potential business owners to build elsewhere instead. That is counterproductive.
Collecting information from communities with comparable needs, and receiving public input – potentially including input from hotel owners who have researched costs to build in other communities – is a good place to start. No fee structure will make everyone happy, and that’s not the sanitation district’s job.
If Cortez can’t be competitive in economic development because of sewer plant investment fees, then something is wrong.