Friday, December 12, 2008

Staunton City Council shelves storm water

Thursday night's Staunton City Council meeting saw a proposed stormwater-management program shelved in hopes the economy will recover in the next six months.

WHSV TV-3 has coverage of those who addressed this issue including Councilman Dickie Bell, Councilwoman Andrea Oakes, and local residents Wally Almquest and Pastor Temple Myers.

Those who voted to table the issue were Mayor Lacey King, Councilman Dickie Bell, Councilman Ophie Kier, and Councilwoman Andrea Oakes.

The Staunton News Leader wrote:
After hearing concerns regarding a proposed stormwater-management program and associated fees, City Council voted in a split decision to table the issue for six months during its meeting Thursday.

Residents raised concerns and questions regarding the proposed program, which would assign fees to residential and commercial properties based on a tier structure to fund stormwater improvements.

According to the plan presented by staff member George Staber, most residents and business owners would be included in the lowest tier, paying only $3.70 a month.

During the public hearing, many residents suggested that council delay implementation for the plan until it can get a better idea of which direction the economy will take.

"Many of our residents are retired and living on fixed incomes," said Carl Hensley. "Any unnecessary increase in the cost of living to these people would be grossly unfair."

Local churches raised concerns over the inclusion of nonprofits in the fee structure, suggesting they be charged less than residential and commercial properties.

Because churches and nonprofits help the community, the Rev. Temple Myers of Memorial Baptist Church suggested they be considered for a different tier structure.

"From my opinion, the fees are large if they were once a year, but to be charged every month, they seem to be enormous," Myers said. "The curious thing is that the nonprofits are the organizations that are attempting to help folks pay their utility bills."
Councilman Bell expressed reservations about imposing the fee:
"I have had reservations about the stormwater fee since the beginning. I continue to have them. The product we saw tonight is better than what we had several months ago, but it's not as good as it needs to be."
Council members who opposed the motion were David Metz, Carolyn Dull, and Bruce Elder.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Idiot politicians never get enough fees and taxes.