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Gainesville City Council plans to OK stormwater plan
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The Gainesville City Council is prepared to approve an agreement Tuesday with an Atlanta engineering consultant to develop a comprehensive stormwater management program, which includes implementing a “rain tax” to pay for upgrades and replacements to aging drainage infrastructure.

The $208,000 contract with CH2M Hill Engineers, good through the end of 2016, calls for a public education program, identifying actual costs, creating a billing database and consulting on mapping and analysis.

CH2M Hill will also help identify customers, including both residential homeowners and commercial businesses.

Kelly Randall, director of the Department of Water Resources, said the proposed tax or fee would not likely be implemented prior to 2017.

Officials have debated how a fee will be calculated and applied on properties in the city to pay for ongoing operations, maintenance and expansion of stormwater infrastructure.

The city has about 170 miles of pipe, the vast majority of which is corrugated metal and reinforced concrete. There are 222 detention ponds, about 4,500 catch basins, about 5,000 head/end walls and about 1,700 junction boxes.