Utility fee increases for some Bismarck residents

BISMARCK, N.D. - As of Jan. 1, a monthly fee on your utility bill isn't only being billed to those with water meters as it was previously. Now, it applies to every lot.

The fee goes toward fire hydrants, traffic signals, storm water drains and infrastructure needs for the wastewater and water treatment plants. Officials say these things serve everyone, not just those with the meters, so everyone needs to be paying them.

The change also applies to vacant lots which aren't using services like sewer or water, which many developers say could end up costing them extra thousands of dollars a year.

"I don't think there’s a developer or a builder that isn't ready to pay their fair share,” said Chad Molderhauer with K&L Homes. “But, I think what we want to know as a building community is that there is an interrelation between the fees that we're being asked to pay and the impact that we're having on our community."

Developers, investors and property managers voiced their opinions at Tuesday night’s city commission meeting, with one threatening a lawsuit against the city before he would pay the fee.

You should have received or get a notice in the mail about the changes, which are based on the size of your meter.