For Immediate Release
Task Force Grapples with Stormwater Solutions
The 30-member Stormwater Management Task Force, appointed by City Council in September, continues to discuss long-term needs for the City and County stormwater programs. The City and County will have ongoing costs to administer the stormwater program, and those costs will increase in the future primarily due to stricter environmental regulations.
The task force last week narrowed recommendations for what the City and County should consider paying for, and how. The group is anticipated to present recommendations to the City and County this spring.
The task force is focused on three major components of stormwater – water quality/unfunded mandates, minimizing flood risk and replacing aging infrastructure.
Water Quality/Unfunded Mandates: Current annual operating costs for the City and County to meet federal and state regulations are approximately $1.5 million and are expected to steadily increase to at least $2.8 million by fiscal year 2020.
Flood Risk Reduction: Approximately $6 million per year is needed for capital projects to allow the City and County to mitigate local flooding.
Infrastructure Repair/Replacement: The task force recommends that total annual reinvestment should be $2.5 million annually, which would place the City and County on a200-year replacement cycle for the $500 million in existing infrastructure.
The stormwater funding previously provided to the City and County expired with the Parks Tax in June, 2012. Since that time, neither the City nor the County has a dedicated funding source to address stormwater expenses in any of these three categories.
"Stormwater management and pollution prevention is a public obligation of intrinsic value to every citizen. The task force is working to recommend a funding model for the City and County's consideration that strives for a practical balance between impractical and the ideal to meet this important obligation," said Dan Hoy, task force co-chair.
The task force will discuss funding levels needed and options for how to fund these needs during their next two meetings in April 2013.
For more information, contact: Sheila Shockey, task force facilitator, 913-515-4365.