For Immediate Release
Stormwater Management Citizen Task Force makes recommendations
Dan Hoy doesn’t want to take any chances in preserving what he calls “our namesake” – the clean water we here in the Ozarks both enjoy and rely on.
“We, as a community have thrived when water quality is good. We live and die by it. It’s pretty clear that there will be more requirements to meet, and the community has a chance to address it and lay a path to deal with it and chart our own course, or we can kick it down the road to have to deal with it later,” he explains.
Hoy, a director of facilities at Bass Pro Shops, recently co-chaired a City-County citizen task force charged with addressing stormwater management. It’s not a position he took lightly. Referencing the impact this group’s work has on life safety issues, economic development and quality of life, he described the task force’s recommendations to City Council and the Greene County Commission as “a far-sighted business issue.”
“This is lifecycle management of the watershed,” he said.
Federal regulators have developed increasingly strict standards for stormwater that could require local governments to spend millions of dollars to reduce the amount of pollution being washed into areas streams during heavy rains. Long-standing issues with flooding and the need to maintain and replace existing infra- structure, create additional costs. Altogether, the 30-member task force has made its final recommendations to City Council. The task force decided between $7.75 million and $11 million a year is needed to address ongoing operating expenses including water quality mandates, infrastructure repair/replacement, and flood risk reduction - with more costs possible as federal environmental mandates are revised.
“There is a need. We have an obligation to do a lot of this,” echoed Fred Palmerton, past principal, Palmerton & Parrish, Inc., Consulting Engineers, and committee co-chair.
The group considered a variety of funding sources, but the group coalesced around sales tax as the recommended funding source.
- Reinstating an 1/8-cent county sales tax that expired in June. Part of a larger sales tax for parks, the 1/8-cent tax had funded stormwater projects in Springfield and the county. The task force recommends the tax be sent to voters for renewal every seven years with a list of flood control projects and goals for the term.
- Passing a new, 1/10-cent stormwater sales tax to help fund ongoing water quality compliance and the gradual replacement and repair of existing stormwater infrastructure. Like other existing sales taxes, the new taxes would be paid by consumers on most goods bought within the city’s boundaries.
For more information, contact Cora Scott, City of Springfield Director of Public Information and Civic Engagement, at 417-864-1009 or firstname.lastname@example.org.