An increase in the fee Shawnee residents pay for stormwater management is on the table as city councilmembers consider their options for the upcoming budget year.
What’s on the table? At a special city council meeting Monday to review the city’s budget for capital improvements, councilmembers were presented with options for raising the stormwater utility fee – a tax levied on property owners for upkeep of the storm drainage infrastructure.
- An increase would bring in more revenue to keep up with stormwater improvement needs, particularly replacement and maintenance of aging corrugated metal pipe, said City Manager Nolan Sunderman.
The bigger picture: Stormwater projects have been a priority for the city for several years.
- The current utility fee is $72 per year collected on single family homes. For other properties, the fee is calculated from a formula based on the amount of impervious surface.
- The current fee raises about $3.6 million a year for the city and has not been changed since 2016, when it was raised from $32.
How much would the fee increase? City staff presented several options for a new fee ranging from $80 to $100 per year, with the highest option raising about $1.4 million more annually than the current fees do.
- A projection of how many more projects could be funded with the higher tax was not possible, Sunderman said, because projects vary so widely in cost.
- The city can also apply for a county match for its stormwater projects, Sunderman said.
- The county’s stormwater management fund provides a 50% match for approved projects, and the city has used the match program to complete $50 million in stormwater projects since 2016, with $17 million coming from the county.
No action yet: Councilmembers offered little discussion and took no action Monday.
- Councilmember Eric Jenkins suggested that an increased utility fee be combined with a reduction in the property tax mill levy rate.