Impact, water and sewer fees to rise in Grass Valley |

Impact, water and sewer fees to rise in Grass Valley

Residents of newly constructed homes will see higher water and sewer fees, as well as impact fees, after a vote this week of the Grass Valley City Council.

For a single-family home the impact fee will rise from $5,115 to $5,279, or $164. The increase will take effect Sept. 1.

Impact fees are one-time fees assessed when a structure is built.

“For people who move into these new units, they do use police and fire services, use the roads, the parks, so the fees are impacts offsetting having more people come into the city and having it grow,” Mayor Ben Aguilar said. “If we don’t have these fees, all of the departments will have more calls, but won’t have the resource funds to handle all that.”

The council also approved new water and sewer fees for new structures with no existing connection.

“So, if you were looking at a lot where the house burned down, you would not be paying a connection fee,” City Manager Tim Kiser said.

Kiser said the fees would increase by 3%, or about $360 for fiscal year 2021-22.

Council member Tom Ivy said he was concerned about costs because of the existing housing crisis.

“I have people I work with on a regular basis who can’t find a rental,” he said. “… I don’t think I can convey how frustrating it is (to hear from constituents) when they have to go to Craigslist 15 times a day to look for new rentals and not find them. But when one does pop up once a week it has 80 people applying. And right now it is dragging (down) their mental health to a new level. I have to ask us to figure out a way in moving forward to do something about that. Can we change these fees for certain situations?”

Aguilar said the fees are just a small part of the overall cost of a home, and not the main driver of housing costs.

“We do need these services,” he said. “And this is the vehicle to do this right now.”

William Roller is a staff writer with The Union. He can be reached at

This story was updated on July 19, 2021

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