Why should builders pay Cleveland Water Department fee for empty lots?

Some lot owners charged for years with no water used.

Why should builders pay Cleveland Water Department fee for empty lots?

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - We’re all hit with all kinds of fees for services we use as homeowners.

Individually.. they may not add up to much, but when you group them together you can be talking about a significant amount of money.

That’s a situation that a lot of home builders are complaining about.

Why should builders pay Cleveland Water Department fee for empty lots?

At a subdivision under construction in Westlake, there is clearly no plumbing at a home being built, so why should the builder pay a service fee to Cleveland Water?

Gas and cable companies don’t charge a similar fee, puzzling builder Ed Pavicic: “When you tie into them you pay the service. Cleveland Water isn’t like that.”

Builder Matt Garland wondered why the fee is charged and said he can’t get an answer.

“We’re very easy going, we just want an answer,” he said.

Visually, the issue is easy to understand. You can see why the charge is justified for a home completed and on the market. But more difficult to comprehend is why the charge is applied to an empty lot next door, where the water line running past hasn’t been tapped into.

“It’s not a lot of money, but $9 a month over the course of a year and when a builder carries 30 or 40 lots a year that could be three or four thousand dollars a year.”

He believes the money would be better spent doing quality inspections and other details for customers, who eventually have the cost folded into the price they pay.

The Water Department showed up for a meter inspection at a soon-to-be-occupied home Pavicic built.

He had withheld the accumulated fees, but now has no choice to pay or the water will be shut off. In his and others minds, money down the drain.

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