AGO 1996-095.

Case Date:January 11, 1996
Alabama Attorney General Opinions 1996. AGO 1996-095. 1996-095January 11, 1996Honorable Randy Hinshaw Member, House of Representatives 218 Constitution Drive Meridianville, AL 35759 Municipalities - Water and Sewage - Fees A municipality must set reasonable fees for use of its sewer system and may set those fees by classification based on certain criteria. Any question regarding the fairness or reasonableness of the fees must be determined by a court of competent jurisdiction.Dear Representative Hinshaw: This opinion is issued in response to your request for an opinion from the Attorney General. QUESTION Can a municipality charge one-water- meter customers a sewer fee on lawn water and not charge two-water-meter customers a sewer fee on lawn water, and comply with both _ 11-50-121 which requires that the municipality charge customers in the same classification the same amount for the same amount of service to and from the sewer system, and with the 14th amendment requiring equal protection? FACTS, LAW AND ANALYSIS Code of Alabama 1975, _ 11-50-121 concerns the establishment of charges for sewer service by a municipality. It states in pertinent part: "(a) Each municipality owning a sewer system shall have the power to establish and collect and from time to time alter charges for service furnished by or from said sewer system. All such charges shall be uniform for the same type, class and amount of use of or service by or from the sewer system, and such charges may be measured or computed on the basis of any one or more or combination of the following: "(1) The quantity of water used upon the premises served by the sewer system; "(2) The number and kind of water outlets upon or in connection with such premises; "(3) The number and kind of plumbing facilities or sewer fixtures on or in connection with such premises; "(4) The number of persons residing or working in or otherwise connected with or using such premises; "(5) The type or character of such premises; "(6) The capacity or the improvements on or connected with such premises; and, "(7) Any other factors determining the type, class and amount of...

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