Vote set on new storm-water fee in Urbana

URBANA — Not quite a week after Champaign finalized its storm-water fee, the Urbana City Council could give preliminary approval tonight to the charge on property owners for runoff.

Administrators have spent months preparing a formal proposal at the city council's direction, and the fee will face one of its final tests when it comes before council members meeting as a committee of the whole at 7 p.m. today in the Urbana City Building, 400 S. Vine St.

If representatives support the new fee, they would have to finalize their approval at a later city council meeting. Owners of single-family residences and duplexes would pay $61.80 annually, which is $2.51 more than what most Champaign homeowners will pay.

Other Urbana property owners would pay an amount based on the parcel's impervious surface area, which is any surface impenetrable to rain. Under the current proposal, those property owners would pay $5.15 monthly for every 3,100 square feet of impervious surface, which could include roofs and parking lots.

The first bill would arrive in May 2013.

According to city documents, a storm-water fee could generate about $1.7 million annually for maintenance and improvements to the city's storm-water drainage system. The city of Urbana spends about $800,000 annually on those efforts now, but that money comes from the general fund, an all-purpose fund that pays for the day-to-day operations of the city.

If the fee is approved, officials say the $800,000 would be rolled back into the general fund, making it available for other expenses. The $1.7 million would be held in a special account, used only for costs related to storm-water drainage.

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Sid Saltfork wrote on April 23, 2012 at 5:04 pm

That $800,000 would go a long way in buying more statues.  It could be used for the roundabouts also.  Hopefully, it would go to the study for increased space for the firefighting equipment, and law enforcement costs.