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The Local Agenda: Gainesville stormwater fee program moving forward
'Rain tax' set to pay for drainage upgrades
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Gainesville City Council will approve an agreement today 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 calls 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.

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.

City Council meets at 5:30 p.m. today in the municipal courtroom of the Public Safety Complex, 701 Queen City Parkway.

SPLOST oversight committee schedules first meeting

The nine-member citizens committee charged with overseeing a new five-year round of special purpose local option sales tax revenue will hold its first meeting July 28.

Criticisms of how previous sales tax revenues have been spent prompted local government officials to commit to organizing a citizens oversight committee for SPLOST VII, which voters approved in March.

The committee is meant to ensure that only projects specifically approved by voters are funded with SPLOST VII revenues.

The projected revenue for SPLOST VII is $158 million.

The committee meets at 4:30 p.m. July 28 at the Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road in Gainesville.

 Joshua Silavent covers government issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him:

jsilavent@gainesvilletimes.com

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