The Washington Post

Hearing to examine fees charges by utilities, developers to connect to public water and sewer system

Critics call it the “developers’ retirement account.” State Sen. Douglas J.J. Peters (D-Prince George’s) says some of his constituents think they are being fleeced.

On Wednesday, Peters will ask members of the public to air concerns about fees that utilities and developers charge for water and sewer connections, and whether that matches up with actual costs.

Peters is chairing a legislative task force examining the fees after discovering that he could replace a pipe linking his Bowie home to the public water supply at a price far lower than he paid Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission several years earlier.

And if he were buying a new home today, he’d probably be paying the fee for water and sewer connections directly to the developer or homeowners’ association. WSSC, which serves Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, several years ago began to allow private companies to install water and sewer connections and then collect fees for the installations.

In some cases, those fees are spread over more than 20 years. But there has been little oversight by the government, and some residents have complained that the fees, which sometimes are labeled “front foot benefit charge,” were not disclosed when they bought their homes. Peters said he has heard of problems across the state beyond WSSC’s service area.

Peters wants to figure out whether anyone is profiting and not disclosing the markup, and whether there should be clearer requirements for disclosure of fees and costs.

The hearing is scheduled for 6 -8 p.m. Wednesday at WSSC, 14501 Sweitzer Lane, Laurel.

To sign up to testify, email or call 301-858-3631.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.