The Gloucester County Planning Commission spent about 1½ hours last Thursday night receiving a lesson in public utilities.
Marty Schlesinger, director of public utilities, presented a report he termed "Public Utilities 101" to the commission members. In short, Schlesinger said the county is at the high end for debt of its utilities, especially the water system.
Development fees are usually handled through builders when they plan subdivisions, Schlesinger said, and then the contractors pass on the application and development fees to the new homeowners. These fees can total $7,000, Schlesinger illustrated, stating there is a range of fees depending on the development size.
Besides administering these costs, he said "it’s very expensive" for the county to meet the federal "pollution diet" imposed for nutrients being introduced into the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
When commission members asked about utility services, Schlesinger said that the county has set up a Development District to encourage such growth. Those areas often are near existing utilities, he said.