Gainesville City Council work session
What: Discussion of stormwater implementation and fee rates
When: 9 a.m. Tuesday
Where: City administration building room 301, 300 Henry Ward Way
All this recent rain must be on the minds of Gainesville officials.
City Council appears closer than ever to implementing a “rain tax” to pay for stormwater infrastructure repairs.
Officials will hold a work session Tuesday to discuss establishing a special enterprise fund to collect the fee and identify possible rate structures.
It’s the next big step in a process more than a year old. Council could approve changes to the city ordinance as early as next week to allow the program to move forward.
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.
Officials have said some of this infrastructure is 50 years old or more and needs replacing.
Federal and state mandates are also prompting the need, officials have said.
City Council approved an agreement this summer with an Atlanta engineering consultant to develop a comprehensive stormwater management program, which includes a fee on all residential and commercial properties for upgrades and replacements to aging drainage infrastructure.
The $208,000 contract with CH2M Hill Engineers called for a public education program, identifying actual costs, creating a billing database and consulting on mapping and analysis.
Kelly Randall, director of the Department of Water Resources, has said the proposed tax or fee would not likely be implemented prior to 2017.