First Look

OUR clarifies connection fee for Landmark sewerage rates

Office of Utilities Regulation | 2018-10-30 11:41:00

The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) has modified its Determination Notice for Landmark Developers Limited (LDL) to clarify who should pay a connection fee to receive sewerage services from the company. LDL provides sewerage services to customers in Liberty Estates in Three Hills, St. Mary.
In an amendment to the Landmark Developers Limited Sewerage Rates Determination Notice published 2018 January 17, the OUR determined that only customers of LDL who have not previously paid for connection to LDL’s sewerage infrastructure would be required to pay a connection fee not exceeding JA$15,000. This amendment is in the Landmark Developers Limited Sewerage Rates Determination Notice – Addendum 1, issued on 2018 October 17, and becomes effective 2018 November 1.
The Addendum states in part that, “The Office approves a connection fee not exceeding $15,000 to connect a new user to the sewerage system, that is, a person who had not paid the connection fee charged by Landmark Developers Limited prior to 2018 January 17”.
In its original Determination Notice issued on 2018 January 17, the OUR had, among other things, approved a connection fee for LDL customers of between $6,000 and $15,000. However, following the decision, some residents objected to the payment of connection fee being charged by LDL. The residents argued that some of them had already paid a connection fee of $50,000 to LDL at an earlier stage of the development of Liberty Estates (that is, prior to the issuing of the OUR’s Determination Notice of 2018 January 17). The residents therefore contended that it would be unreasonable for them to again pay a connection fee.
The reports prompted the OUR to investigate the matter, which included requesting additional information from LDL, hosting a series of meetings with LDL and representatives of the community, and undertaking a site visit. The investigation revealed that prior to the issuance of the Determination Notice, the majority of LDL customers were connected to the sewerage system.
In the circumstances, the OUR concluded that its determination relating to the connection fee was not intended to retroactively authorize the application of approved connection fees by LDL. Consequently, LDL is restricted to apply the approved connection fee only to new customers.

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