$20 Salisbury stormwater fee appearing likely

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At the recommendation of the city’s Public Works Department, the Salisbury City Council has set the stormwater utility fee at $20 per equivalent residential unit.

At a recent work session, that fee was recommended for fiscal year 2016, to allow the public works department to accomplish projects and fund the street sweeping program.

Projected annual revenue is $598,500.

At the work session, Mike Moulds, director of Public Works, told the City Council sample invoices will be sent to all properties prior to the actual invoice being issued. The bills for non-single-family parcels, with greater than one ERU, range from $40 to $12,560, with the average bill being $281.

City Council President Jake Day said the stormwater utility was adopted about eight months ago.

“We have to set the rate like every other utility, like water, sewer. It was set in the work session and it will come to a regular session,” Day said.

Paying the highest amount, a couple thousand dollars per year, will be The Centre at Salisbury, he said.

The stormwater utility fee “is creating a guaranteed secured fund, an enterprise fund protected from the general fund, that will take care of our stormwater utility, which is all pipes in the ground that manage our stormwater, most which is over 100 years old,”  Day said.

The goal is to keep pollutants from running into the river.

Moulds said the city is composed of 12,093 parcels. Of those, 7,094 are single-family residential and 4,999 are non-single-family residential.

Information he sent to Tom Stevenson, city administrator, and reviewed by the City Council, stated Public Works hired the Eastern Shore Regional GIS Cooperative at Salisbury University to develop “impervious area calculations for each non-single-family residential parcel for the basis of the individual property fee assessment.”

It was determined that, of the non-single-family residential parcels, 3,635 had less than 3,344 square feet of impervious surface. That means they will be billed for one ERU.

The other 1,364 parcels have ERU values ranging from two to 628. The total number of ERUs from those 1,364 parcels is 19,196, the information states.

The study recommended a $40 fee, but because stormwater utility was created as part of Public Works, Moulds recommended $20.

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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