(Atlantic) The Atlantic City Council approved the second reading of the Storm Water Equivalent Service Unit Rate 6-0 at Wednesday night’s meeting.
Atlantic City Administrator Doug Harris says during the budget review process the council discussed the fact that storm water fees have not been increased for ten-years and the current rates are no longer adequate to cover needed repairs and capital movements.
The council approved a rate increase that will generate $25,000.00 in additional rate increases to cover the net increase in debt service cost of $15,000.00 for repairs to the Bull Creek underground drainage system. In addition, an additional $10,000.00 a year continues to fund annual repairs to the City’s storm water management system which has been averaging about $20,000.00.In order to meet these expenses it is recommended that the Equivalent Service unit rate be increased from $2.50-per month, to $2.85-per month.
Atlantic City Councilman Steve Livengood made reference to a letter from Atlantic resident Charles Griffin stating that there are people who object to this storm water fee increase.
“The letter says this is a tax rather than a fee since only the property owners pay it,” stated Livengood. “That it is not legal because the citizens of Atlantic were not allowed to vote on it and he encourages us to repeal it rather than increase it.”
Pat Hall of Snyder and Associates says this is not a tax, it is a fee, and Atlantic City Councilman Shawn Shouse agreed.
“I sympathize with his concerns but I don’t see validity in his argument,” said Shouse. “I think it is a valid way to fund the reasonable transfer of storm water off of all the properties in town so we can release to the river.”
The rate increase would go into effect August 1, so the council has set up a special meeting for July 24, at 5:30 for a couple of reasons. One; is to address concerns from the public and number two; vote on the third and final reading.
July 18, 2013