The Paris Utility Authority made adjustments to its aid to construction fees during its board meeting Thursday.

Aid to construction fees come when requested services require additional construction in order to meet a customer’s needs, an example being if an electric pole has to be installed or moved in order for a structure to be built.

“These fees put the costs of construction onto those who cause those costs to incur. The fees are set to align with how the utility incurs cost so that all ratepayers do not subsidize costs that are not associated with us serving them,” said PUA President/CEO Terry Wimberley. “They are prepaid fees and not designed to cover the full cost of construction. In fact, none of these include more than half of labor costs.”

This is the first time in eight years that these aid to construction fees have been changed. Some of the notable services that will now be more expensive include: single phase secondary metering rising from $500 to $1,200; single phase primary metering rising from $2,000 to $3,000; three-phase overhead transformer bank installation at less than 50 kilowatts rising from $1,500 to $2,500; 30-foot pole installation for service relocation rising from $150 to $500; and three-phase hookups for installing new metering rising from $150 to $500. Single-phase underground primary installation in which plowing is needed also rises from $7 a foot to $12 a foot, and from $7 a foot to $15 a foot if boring is required.

Some fees did go down in the PUA’s new plan, Three-phase hookups to existing secondary metering is now free of charge, three-phase overhead primary installation decreases from $7 a foot to $2 a foot without pole upgrades and $4 a foot with pole upgrades and three-phase underground primary installation greater than 300 kilowatts will be free up to 500 feet, then $27 a foot after that.

These new fees are scheduled to go into effect Nov. 1.

In other meeting business:

• The PUA board of directors approved a bid of $219,595 from Birmingham Control Systems of Alabama to install a relay and control house for the solar energy project at the utility’s Puryear substation. This purchase will be fully funded by Silicon Ranch, the PUA’s partner in the project, as part of the interconnection agreement for the 6.9-megawatt solar installation. It will take an estimated 16-18 weeks for the structure to be delivered.

“This is for upgrades being made for interconnection of the substation, funds have already been given to us and it’s just our job to get the bids and get to work,” said Wimberley.

Birmingham Control Systems is also providing a relay and control house for the PUA’s Eagle Creek substation project.

• The PUA board agreed to give a $30,000 loan to North American Caviar for that company to purchase a blast/flash freezer that will allow them to store and process twice the amount of Asian carp that it currently is capable of.

The utility had originally approved an $80,000 loan to send to North American Caviar back in April but the fish company never took it out. That loan has since been pulled back.

“We confirmed that North American Caviar is going to use the loan this time and they’re planning on getting to work on it very quickly,” said Wimberley.

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