Re: How To Fix I-74 Traffic
Tuesday February 11, @04:59PM, by Stephanie Smith
STORM WATER MEETING
JANUARY 30, 2003
Mr. Wallace C. Mook P.C., Director of Public Works for the City of Bettendorf presented an overview of the proposal to the concerned business and manufacturing persons attending said meeting.
Subject Matter: concerning the Storm Water Run-Off proposed project was presented.
Apparently back in the late 1970’s a commission or law was set into place to have ALL communities comply with an extremely vague law. It has something to do with Revenue Stream Water Run Off, and is a government mandate. This means that there are NO government funds available to do this project, the guidelines are very vague, but if you do NOT comply you are fined $ 10,000.00 per day until you do comply.
Communities are to present pans for what they are planning to do or all ready have done to improve the quality of storm water run-off into streams and tributaries. Large communities were required to do this no later than 1990. Smaller communities in Iowa like, Bettendorf must apply for the permit listing their plans no later than March 10, 2003.
Two bodies EPA and DNR govern the permit: (Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Natural Resources).
Three (3) years ago the City of Bettendorf, was informed that the due date was March 10, 2003. On February 6, 2003 @ 5:00 p.m. the proposed program will be sent to the Committee of the Whole Public Meeting of the City Council for their approval and discussion. (Garbage will be the other topic at this meeting) Once the City Council approves of the plan it will be forwarded to Des Moines and the DNR office. Here are the problems and what the Public Works department sees as the solution. There is NO money in the City Treasury to pay for any of the expenses that will be incurred.
Who will carry the major financial burden?
What type of fees will be charged?
What are the plans to solve this problem?
Where does the City plan to draw the financial lines?
Why does the City feel business owners and manufacturers should pay the major portion?
The items on page 1 will be addressed as follows according to the meeting:
Who will carry the majority of the burden? The business owners and manufacturers, who comprise 927 acres of the City of Bettendorf, The proposal has them paying
$ 1,018,452.00. This is compared to the average homeowner will pay $ 3.00 to $ 9.00 per month or $ 36.00 - $ 108.00 per year or all homes paying $ 430,476.00 per year.
What type of fees will be charged?
Homes with less than 1600 square feet will pay $ 1.80 per month or $ 21.60 per year
Homes with 1600 – 6000 square feet will pay $ 3.00 per month or $ 36.00 per year
New additions will pay $ 3,000.00 per acre multiplied by the factor of pervious land
@ $ 0.015 and impervious @ $ 0.95. There will be a connection fee for new homes in a development of $ 150.00 x # of bedrooms in the home.
Businesses and Manufacturers will pay based upon ERU Equivalent Residential Use
This means that you will pay based upon each 6,000 square feet of impervious property you own you will pay $ 3.00 per month. A sample is: business owner like K&K Hardware will pay $ 150.00 per Month or $ 1,800.00 per year and a large business like The Lodge (Jumer’s) will pay $ 350.00 per month or $ 4,200.00 per year.
What are the plans to solve this problem? First, determine what needs to be done and how to finance this project. Second, determine illegal discharge detection and eliminate that problem. Third, control construction site run-off. Fourth, control post construction site run-off of fertilizers, pest control products, etc. Fifth, a whole system dedicated to Storm water run-off must be constructed and watched over for contaminates.
Where does the City plan to draw financial lines? As stated above. The individual homeowners will be assessed an extremely small amount of money on a monthly basis. You, the business owner or manufacturer will carry the bulk of the finances.
Why does the City feel Businesses and Manufacturers should pay the major portion? Supposedly, they feel that in the long run they will benefit most from this project.
What does all of this mean? You will be paying a higher price to the City for something that may take many years to accomplish. You may or may not end up improving the Storm water run-off and have cleaner water traveling into streams and tributaries.
While the City may tell you, the business owner that to comply with an ordinance you must replace a gravel parking lot with blacktop or concrete they just took your pervious (non-taxable for this project only land) and raised it to impervious land that is taxable at the above rate. Agricultural and “green space” areas are currently pervious areas and are not taxed for this item only.
How does the City plan to comply once they receive the permit? Hire a full time Soils and Erosion Specialist. Another attorney, who will deal with this problem. Hire 2 new equipment operators to do the work. Purchase new equipment to perform storm sewer related tasks. Hire an administrator of the program and the existing staff. Outreach into the community for materials, maintenance, repairs and testing for better quality in the storm water run-off area. Find a way to hold Storm water in ground for cleansing prior to releasing it into streams, creeks and the tributaries.
How do other towns handle this problem? Some towns have a system set up through their storm drainage system where this water goes to a purifying station is cleansed and then released to go downstream to other waterways. Some towns have holding basins where the water sits until it can be purified.
The exact level of water cleanliness has not been set yet by the DNR, however they are looking for low levels of Nitrates and fecal matter, better levels of water oxygen, lack of chlorine and bad bacteria levels reduced.
Observer’s, observation and opinions from this meeting. This is a project that must be complied with even though the City doesn’t exactly know what they are going to do. They have to get the permit or suffer a stiff fine. They do not want to go to the homeowners’ for the money as that could lose them votes so they feel the overtaxed struggling businesses and manufacturer should dig a little deeper and become the City’s “Sugar Daddy” for this project. The only problem being when you continue to hit these same few people for so much money they will do the following:
· Go broke, file for bankruptcy because they cannot afford to spend more money.
· Move to another Community where the taxes and costs are less.
· Lay off employees to accommodate the higher costs.
What will that do to the City finances? They will have to go back to the drawing board and will then be forced to charge the homeowner more money. With higher unemployment that too will hurt the City and there will be fewer people able to pay the then higher assessment.
My personal observation after talking with people from a 16 state region over the weekend and discussing this Storm Water run-off Mandate. Most of their communities have been charging households anywhere from $ 9.00 - $ 15.00 per month for over a year. The higher price was for people from Atlanta, Louisville, Indianapolis, Chicago, Detroit and Columbus. The lower rates were from smaller communities all over a 16 state area.