Evansville council approves storm water utility
The city council approved the creation of the utility at its meeting Tuesday night. No one spoke during a public hearing held before the vote.
Residential property owners will pay $4 a month, which will be included on the city’s water utility bill, said Braunschweig, also the chair of public works.
Property owners already pay for storm water expenses through the public works budget funded through property taxes. The change now creates a separate storm water management budget funded through user fees.
The amount a home or business pays depends on the amount of runoff it is creating, and credits are given for properties that have management practices in place, such as the high school with its retention pond.
Larger non-residential units will pay more. A 350,000-square-foot unit would pay $5,600 a year while a 20,000-square-foot unit would pay $320 a year.
Discussion of the utility started last year when city officials explored funding options for solutions to storm water issues on the city’s west side. But the utility wasn’t created to help just those problems, Braunschweig stressed.
“We’re doing this for way more than one particular neighborhood,” he said. “Realistically do I think this is going to save all the flooding problems in Evansville? No, but it’s a fiscally responsible way to attempt to solve this problem.”
Upcoming storm water expenses include replacing the city’s street sweeper and improvements on Maple Street and South Sixth Street area, he said.