What is the franchise fee charge all about?

The City of Burlington charges Water Resources (and other utilities) a franchise fee based on 3.5% of our gross sales and services revenues.  The fee is in exchange for our use of the City streets and rights-of-way for the utility pipe network and related structures.  This is allowed by City Charter and you can review both the ordinance (begin with 27-119) and the MOU executed in 1990 that increased the fee.

Prior to 7/1/17 this fee was incorporated into our rate structure and not shown separately on the bills.  However, we strive to be as transparent as possible with our rate development process, so it has been removed from the rates and is now a standalone charge.  The 3.5% is calculated on your current charges and is inclusive any service fees charged (e.g., returned payments, final reading requests).  Our Stormwater utility is exempt from the franchise fee.      

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