WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - City officials are considering a stormwater fee for all property owners who connect to or benefit from the city's Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) to pay for system expenses.
West Lafayette city engineer Dave Buck says right now, the city pays for these mandated expenses with other city funds. But continuing to lose the funds may start to delay capital improvement projects.
"To date, we have been using other city funds to pay for the repair, replacement, planning, improvement, operation, regulation and maintenance of the MS4 and general storm water run-off management," Buck said. "The fee options we are proposing would pay for these mandated costs and allow us to free up other city funds for much-needed capital improvements.
"The need for dedicated funds is significant, so we will be talking about options with everyone from city councilors to school corporation officials to potential rate payers. If a fee is adopted, bills would not start until 2014."
In the proposal, each parcel or location that directly or indirectly contributes to West Lafayette's stormwater system would be charged a fee basked on the presence of hard surfaces and surfaces that make run-off.
"All properties having impervious surface areas within the City limits would be assigned an Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU), with all properties assigned a minimum of one ERU, which equals 3,200 square feet. Residential properties (single-family homes or duplexes) would be assessed a monthly service charge for stormwater service of one ERU, as a flat rate," Buck said. "Non-residential properties would be assessed a monthly service charge based on the total number of ERUs that encompass the measured impervious surface area. We would determine the total ERUs for a property by dividing the total square footage of the measured impervious surface area by 3,200 square feet.
"The rate would be evaluated annually to ensure its fairness and sufficiency with an evaluation report provided to the Board of Works by April 30."
West Lafayette City Council members are slated to discuss the proposed ordinance at their Dec. 3 meeting.
City officials molded the ordinance from Lafayette's stormwater fee ordinance. If adopted, funds collected would not revert to any other city utilities or to the city's general fund.
Indiana Department of Transportation road crews are preparing the roads for the first winter storm of the season.
Lafayette Police are asking for the public's help to find a man wanted for burglary and theft.
Toyota says it has begun production of its 2014 Highlander SUV at its plant in southwestern Indiana.