Kill Devil Hills commissioners discuss water system master plan, increased fees

Published 6:36 pm Friday, January 28, 2022

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Kill Devil Hills commissioners discussed the water system master plan at their January 26 regular meeting. Residents can expect the usual 4% annual water rate increase. Those interested in building in Kill Devil Hills may be facing a higher system development or “hookup fee” – from $4,000 to $6,000 for an average sized single-family home needing a standard 5/8 inch meter size, and going up from there for larger homes or hotels (1” meter $10,400; 1.5” $15,800, etc., up to 6” $62,700).

Outer Banks Home Builders Association member Duke Geraghty spoke during public comment requesting a phased approach to the fees.

The town must follow a 45-day advertisement period during which the public can give feedback. Commissioners will then hold a vote on the fee increase, which, if approved, will take effect in July.

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According to public services director Steve Albright, the hookup fee was $5,000 in the early 2000s through 2009, but commissioners reduced it to stimulate building. Capital improvement projects to the water system and increased assets and infrastructure could justify an increase $7,400, but commissioners are proposing $6,000.

Commissioners held one public hearing to approve a zoning amendment to change the area around current teacher housing from Residential Low zoning to Light Industrial. This will allow for expanded teacher housing in the form of multi-family homes as well as make the current housing conforming. The decision to expand the housing units in Kill Devil Hills has not yet been determined, but the town would be ready if the Dare Education Foundation chooses to move ahead with the project.

The final item in the agenda was a budget guidance presentation followed by a brainstorming session between commissioners and town staff for potential future projects. Commissioners discussed things like improving the beach accesses and parks, creating more sidewalks and keeping the streets well-maintained and tidy.