Mayor Bob Correia is proposing to generate 5 million dollars in revenue by implementing a new CSO/stormwater fee. The fee would charge for storm water runoff from 'impermeable surfaces', such as parking lots. However it would also apply to residential property in the form a $35 flat fee per quarter. City properties, including schools, would also be charged the CSO/stormwater fee. The ordinance for the proposed fee has yet to receive council approval.
Lefty's View: The idea of charging for stormwater runoff from 'impermeable surfaces' has a lot of merit. Certainly such stormwater puts a demand on the sewer system and for that demand their is an associated cost. However, the flat fee to residential properties seems to go against the reason this fee is supposedly being implemented. According to the FY2009 budget, the proposed system would require that everyone pays their fair share. But what if you don't have a driveway? What if your driveway pitches toward your backyard and not toward the street? What if you live on a street where there's no storm drain? Does a flat fee seem fair? Also does it make sense to charge city properties the same fee? Does it make sense for the city to burden the Fire Department, the Police Department, the School Department and other city departments with this new fee when at the same time we're cutting budgets for those departments? The concept has merit, the implementation is all wet.