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Winfield Town Hall

The Winfield town offices complex is shared with Winfield Township.

WINFIELD — For the second time in two years, Winfield is increasing the tap-in fee for its sewer system, but the hike only applies to developers for new construction.

The Town Council approved a new ordinance that increases the standard tap-on fee to $3,190. The previous fee or system development charge, approved by the council in 2017, was $2,317.

Council President Gerald Stiener said the fee only applies to new building permits that developers pull for new construction in Winfield and not individual rate payers. Monthly sewer rates for customers is not impacted or changing.

The system development charge is an equivalent amount of capacity that is taken from each connection that comes in the future, said Clerk-Treasurer Rick Anderson.

The town has invested more than $6 million in sewer plant and infrastructure, which does not include repairs and improvements, Anderson said.

“System development charges, specifically for a growing municipality, need to be revised on a regular basis,” Anderson said of the revision, which is the third for the town. “It is better to do this more often than less often because it is less impactful on the rate itself.

“There are communities in Lake County around us that are lower than what we have and others that are higher. We aren’t the highest, we aren’t the lowest.”  

In other business, the council approved the Thoroughfare Plan at the recommendation of the Plan Commission.

Nick Bellar, town and planning and zoning administrator, said it is “first of its kind in Winfield.”

The plan, which is an amendment to the town’s Comprehensive Plan, establishes right of way dedication requirements for development to happen along town roadways, creating “a road map for future road development and expansion throughout town.

At that recent Plan Commission meeting, Stiener said one of the problems the town has had is not having “a good road pattern of major thoroughfares.”

“We have been looking a lot at 109th Avenue for the last several months and we have got to do improvements as best we can. It is what it is – it’s a problem,” Stiener said, adding that the town has spent millions on the road.

“(The Thoroughfare Plan) gives us a way to hold developers accountable, give right of way they are supposed to give and also make sure that as properties do get developed, appropriate roads are put in.”

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Allie covers South Lake County municipal government, development and breaking news for The Times. She comes to the Region from Lebanon, Indiana. She is a proud Ball State University graduate.