Salisbury Considers Stormwater Fee to Cover $24 Million System Upgrade

A December 16 Salisbury Daily Times article reports that Salisbury officials estimate it will cost $24 million to upgrade the city’s stormwater system and are proposing a stormwater utility fee to cover the upgrade costs.  The article notes that Salisbury is expected to face additional stormwater runoff requirements when renewing its Municipal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit next year and also faces nutrient targets under the federally mandated Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).

To ensure that enough money is raised, all properties would pay regardless of their owners’ tax status, said Michael Moulds, the city’s director of public works. Residential properties would pay $20 a year while all others would pay a fee based on the residential fee and the amount of space devoted to parking lots, roofs and other impervious area.

The plan has encountered little resistance so far. Members of both the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce and the Wicomico Environmental Trust were at Monday’s meeting; neither protested.  …

If approved, the utility fee would take effect as early as Jan. 1, 2015. The $20 annual fee isn’t expected to cover the entire $24 million, but the pot of money can be used to lure grants to the city to offset the cost, Moulds said. City officials say they will roll out a public-education campaign early next year and get public feedback on the proposal before taking a final vote.

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