Town of Ellington, CT
Tolland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Water Pollution Control Authority of the Town of Ellington 8-16-1994. amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Sewers — See Ch. 143.
Sewer line extensions — See Ch. 325.
User charges — See Ch. 330.
A. 
The purpose of this chapter is to outline the methodology employed by the Ellington Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA) in determining the sewer benefit assessments levied against those commercial and residential property owners especially benefited by the installation of a sanitary sewer system serving the Crystal Lake area.
B. 
The Crystal Lake sewerage system was constructed to eliminate the public health hazards of undersized on-lot disposal systems and raw wastewater discharges which occurred in this area. The construction of the sewerage system was determined by the WPCA to be the only feasible alternative to correcting this problem due to a large degree to the density of the dwelling units in the community.
C. 
The sewer system has and will preserve the quality of Crystal Lake as well as the health and safety of the individual properties of which provide a special additional benefit to each property served. The density and existing lot sizes, in most cases, precluded the repair, replacement, or construction of new on-lot systems. These same factors necessitated the development of a benefit assessment policy unique to the Crystal Lake area.
A. 
In determining the factors to be used in the determination of the benefit assessments, the WPCA evaluated the factors which it considered unique to the Crystal Lake area. Among these factors the following were considered to be significant:
(1) 
The Crystal Lake sewerage system was constructed to serve residential and, to a small extent, commercial uses around Crystal Lake. Permitted uses of property in the sewer service area, as determined through the application of the Town of Ellington's Zoning Regulations,[1] are for the most part single-family residential and, in a limited area, Lake Residence Zone. The Lake Residence Zone, as defined in § 230-11 of the Town of Ellington Zoning Regulations, permits year-round single-family dwellings and seasonal use of single-family dwellings. The WPCA has assumed that the permitted use of the property has to be taken into account in the determination of the assessed value of the property by the Tax Assessor.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 230, Zoning.
(2) 
The topography of the area necessitated the construction of a sewerage collection system which used both gravity sewers and low-pressure (grinder pump) sewers. Slightly more than 1/3 of all of the initial units served by the system required grinder pump service.
(3) 
The nature of the Crystal Lake community was initially that of several lakeside associations of summer cottages. Many of these dwelling units were constructed on lots of minimal size with little or no frontage on private roads. Over the years many of these cottages have been converted to year-round use.
B. 
Given the above factors, the WPCA has determined that the following items shall be used in the determination of sewer benefit assessments:
(1) 
A unit charge for each dwelling unit served by the sewerage system.
(2) 
A value charge based on the assessed value of each property served by the sewerage system.
(3) 
A connection charge which shall reflect the benefit of a Town-installed lateral connection to the collection system.
[Amended 1-22-2008]
A. 
The sewer benefit assessment charge for residential property shall be the sum of the following two factors:
(1) 
Unit charge. New single-family and multifamily dwellings shall be assessed $3,125 per bedroom; additions shall be assessed $3,125 per bedroom for increased bedrooms of four or more, or as set by the WPCA after a public hearing.
(2) 
Connection charge. In addition to and in recognition of the further benefit conferred upon property where a connection has been joined to the sewer line to serve the property, a connection charge of $1,000 per connection shall be made.
(a) 
In the event of a future connection to the system, whether by gravity or pressure system, the connection charge shall be levied only if the future user connects to a lateral installed as part of the original construction of the system. No connection charges shall be levied against future users who construction their own connection to the main lines of the system.
(b) 
Multiple-dwelling-unit structures shall be charged one connection charge for each connection to the sewerage system.
A. 
Hotels, motels, rooming houses and bed-and-breakfast operations. All properties classified as commercial or mixed use (residential/commercial) by the office of the Ellington Tax Assessor shall be assessed through the application of the previously presented residential property formula [see § 305-3A(1), (2) and (3)] plus 1/4 of the existing residential unit charge for each additional unit.
B. 
Commercial properties. This classification is intended to include all commercially classified properties with the exception of restaurants, hotels, motels, rooming houses, and bed-and-breakfast operations.
(1) 
Commercial properties shall be assessed a value charge, connection charge and a unit charge. Value charge: in addition and in recognition of the greater benefit conferred upon larger more valuable structures, an assessment of 3.75% of the cost of construction, as determined by the Building Department using the cost factors for building permits, shall be made. Connection charges shall be as stated in § 305-3A(2). Commercial unit charges shall be $2,200 for the first unit and ½ of the commercial unit charge for each additional commercial unit or fraction thereof. For the purpose of this assessment formula, a commercial unit is defined as 2,500 square feet of commercial space.
[Amended 1-22-2008]
(2) 
In the case of mixed-use properties (residential/commercial), the residential formula shall be applied to the property first, with the commercial unit charge(s) applied subsequently.
C. 
Restaurants.
(1) 
All properties classified as restaurants shall be assessed a value charge and connection charge(s) as presented within the residential section of this chapter [see § 305-3A(1), (2) and (3)] plus a restaurant unit charge of $2,200 for the first unit plus 1/2 of the restaurant unit charge for each additional unit or fraction thereof. For the purpose of this assessment formula, a restaurant unit is defined as each block of 12 persons the restaurant is permitted to seat as defined by the permit issued by the Ellington Fire Marshal.
(2) 
In the case of mixed-use properties (residential/restaurant) the residential formula shall be applied to the property first, with the restaurant unit charge(s) applied subsequently.
Vacant land shall not be assessed by the WPCA until such time as it is built upon and derives a direct benefit from the sewerage system. Owners of vacant land may approach the WPCA and request the option of having a sewer benefit assessment levied against said vacant land based upon the application of this chapter. For the purposes of this type of assessment levy, the average (mean) residential assessment of $72,582 shall be used for the determination of the value charge portion of the sewer benefit assessment formula. The value charge portion of sewer benefit assessments levied in this manner shall be adjusted at the issuance of a certificate of occupancy, and any increased amount due shall be subject to appreciation charges as described below and shall be due and payable at the time of levy.
A. 
The WPCA reserves the right to review and reassess properties if improvements thereto result in assessed value greater than 50%, the use or classification of the property changes, the property converts to year-round use from seasonal use or other reason which, in the opinion of the WPCA, directly results in the increased value of property due to the special benefit of the availability of public sewers. Reassessments made in response to improvements in residential structures are intended to reflect the value added due to new construction initiated by the property owner and not intended to include land values. No new assessments shall be made in response to increased property values relating to Town-wide reevaluations. Any reassessment based on increased property value shall reflect the aforementioned fifty-percent increase over the value computed in the most recent grand list and shall not be retroactive to any previous property value.
B. 
The property owner against which an additional assessment has been levied shall have the option of paying the assessment in full at the time of levy or adding the additional assessment to the owner's existing payment plan for the initial assessment levy. In no case shall the payment of the additional assessment extend beyond the original term of the initial assessment levy.
C. 
The WPCA reserves the right to adopt other classifications and methods of assessment should they be deemed in the best interest of the WPCA.
D. 
Any change in assessment classification, assessment method or reassessment shall be subject to all statutory hearing and levy requirements as presented in C.G.S. Ch. 103, §§ 7-249 through 7-254.
A. 
Sewer benefit assessments may be paid over years, not to exceed 30 years, as determined by the WPCA. All assessments paid on said payment plan shall be charged interest on the unpaid principal of their installments at the rate of 4.69% effective for the June 1, 1995, billing.
B. 
The remaining principal balance of any sewer benefit assessment shall be due and payable upon the transfer of ownership of the property upon which an assessment has been levied.