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City Council discussing stormwater fee increase


By Ginger Livingston
The Daily Reflector

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Greenville City Council will weigh two alternatives for raising revenue for stormwater system repairs at today’s 6 p.m. meeting.

The city has identified approximately $150 million in projects needed to improve flood control, water quality and stream bank stabilization in an effort to improve stormwater runoff throughout the community.

Greenville Public Works Director Kevin Mulligan reported in October that the city should be spending $15 million annually to replace the existing storm sewer system and carry out capital improvements. The current stormwater fee generates $6 million annually.

Last month, staff presented two proposals to the City Council that would use debt to fund improvement projects. One recommendation was the raise the fee by $2 over a five-year period to allow the city to fund $15.2 million in debt and the other was a $4 fee increase that would fund $25.5 million in debt.

At the time, Mayor P.J. Connelly and Council members Rose Glover and Brian Meyerhoeffer supported the $2 plan. Council members Ricky Smiley, Monica Daniels and Will Litchfield supported the $4 plan and Council member Will Bell was undecided.

As mayor, Connelly will only vote if there is a tie.

Last year the City Council was presented a recommendation that would have nearly tripled the average homeowners stormwater fee over a five-year period to pay for the recommended improvements. Council members said the increase was too much so the lower cost alternatives were developed.

Also on tonight’s agenda:

■ Council is scheduled to take a second vote on a request to rezone nearly 13 acres of property located on East Fire Tower Road near Meeting Place subdivision. The property owners want the zoning changed from residential agricultural to office-residential (high density multi-family), a request that has drawn opposition from neighboring residents.

A second vote is needed because the first vote taken on Feb. 14 required Major P.J. Connelly to cast a tie-breaking vote in favor of the project. However, without a two-thirds majority vote, council rules require a second vote to approve the change. The second vote originally was planned for March but the project developers sought a delay to talk with opponents.

■ A public hearing on a city funded job creation grant for Taft Family Ventures, which is renovating a building on Dickinson Avenue to relocate its headquarters.

Contact Ginger Livingston at glivingston@reflector.com or 252-329-9570.