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tropolitan District?

u may have. by Roz Birkelo water or a way to dispose of sewage. What FHMD does is what any large community does only we do it for 148 lots on 245 acres. We have wells that provide water. There are lift stations that move the water and gravity for the rest. We also have a booster pump to move the water and a water plant where we treat the water. In addition, we have a sewer plant where we treat waste in order to put the cleaned wastewater back into the stream.

Great! Let’s build this community! How do we fund it? Interesting question. I am probably not alone in that I never considered what it took to build a community or fund such a project. I guess I always assumed investors put up the money hoping for a good return. It turns out that Counties also want to make money and are willing to invest in the development of communities if they think the return is worth it. In this case, we were funded via a Bond.

What is a bond? It’s an IOU. A bond is essentially the equivalent of a house loan. You take out a large mortgage, get your interest rate, and pay it off, little by little, year after year. Only with a bond, whomever agrees to finance your loan, has the right to not allow you to pay it off early, so they are guaranteed a certain amount of revenue in return. For more information on bonds, go to Investopedia at:

As I stated earlier, Riva Chase is a “Special District.” One mechanism for providing public improvements and services for a new development is the creation of a Special District.

“A Special District, among other taxing entities, determines the mill levies that will be assessed on the developing property. The Board of County Commissioners, in accordance with State Statute, approves all Special Districts within unincorporated Jefferson County.” (Planning and Zoning guide, et al.)

Jefferson County agreed to allow this bond because the developers submitted a financial plan that showed how much operating revenue could be derived from property taxes. In other words, what did Jefferson County have to gain from allowing a bond? How much revenue will Riva Chase provide? To view the original service plan of Riva Chase, go to: filename=service%20plan%20july%201979.pdf&doc_ id=703828&print=1

Simply put, the District is funded through property taxes and user fees. Tax revenue is used to pay off the principle and interest on bonds which financed the original infrastructure of the development. Tax revenue also maintains our roads, grounds, and common areas. User fees consist of the bill residents receive each month for water and sewage. These fees offset the cost of operating the water wells and wastewater treatment plant.

Who manages the operations? When we’re lucky, we get 5 individuals to graciously volunteer their time and energy planning the operations of a water plant and a sewer plant, roads, gates and parks, billing, and every other aspect of our infrastructure to help maintain or elevate our community property values and provide an exceptional place to live. (That would be the unsuspecting, rose colored glasses version of a thankless job, but in reality July / August 2014 | Riva Reader


Riva Reader - August 2014  
Riva Reader - August 2014  

This edition is dedicating to educating you on the Forest Hills Metropolitan District so you better understand how your tax dollars are spen...