Stormwater Management Fee in St. Charles?
Byline: James Fuller firstname.lastname@example.org
Flood protection may soon come at an extra cost for St. Charles residents.
City officials are investigating the creation of a new stormwater management fee all residents would be forced to pay on their monthly utility bill.
Right now it costs the city about $2.2 million a year to repair storm sewers, sweep the streets so gutters don't clog, and operate the city's sump pump connection program.
All that cash comes out of the city's general fund, which is the main checkbook for the city.
Pressure on that fund from dwindling sales taxes and increased city staff salary costs makes it increasingly difficult for the city to find money for construction projects that can ease chronically flooded areas.
City staff believe creating the new fee could take heat off the general fund and create a dedicated source of new cash to fund such projects.
But not everyone on the city council is a fan.
Ward 4 Alderman Jim Martin said now is not the time to hit residents up for more money.
"Speaking for the thousands of senior citizens and the unemployed, all I need is one more utility fee," Martin said. "I can't see it. I will vote no all the way through."
City staff is paying a
consultant to help them figure out the best formula to use for figuring out how much each landowner would pay in a fee. …