Adams County Public Works held a second round of public meetings last week to address a proposed stormwater-utility fee for unincorporated Adams …
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Adams County Public Works held a second round of public meetings last week to address a proposed stormwater-utility fee for unincorporated Adams County.
Proponents and county officials say the fees are necessary to continue critical stormwater projects and comply with stringent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidelines, while some concerned residents argue the fees would create an immense financial burden.
During an Aug. 8 public hearing held at the Adams County Government Center, a county resident, who asked not to be identified, said he would be charged about $200 annually for his 14,250-square-foot property.
“I’m going to have to do without something to pay for it,” he said. “It’s getting a little ridiculous for something that I’ll never see.”
Eric Weis, an Adams County Public Works senior civil engineer, said property exemptions and credit policies discussed by many community members at the meeting will be evaluated after the fee is established.
“It’s complicated, and any time you start establishing credits or exemptions, that can be very politically charged,” he said. “It’s as large an effort to adopt those policies as it is to adopt a fee in the first place. We plan to have those policies in place, but we don’t want to over-politicize a complicated issue with those policies right now.”
Adams County stormwater administrator Kelly Hargadin said all properties would be evaluated and treated equally under the proposed fee structure. Fees would be determined by the amount of billable impervious surface area on a property, including building rooftops and paved surfaces made from asphalt
The typical single-family home in Adams County has about 3,125 square feet of billable impervious area and would incur a stormwater utility fee of about $5 each month.
All developed properties with at least 100 square feet of impervious surfaces would be charged a minimum fee of $2 per month for up to 1,250 square feet of impervious surface. Properties with more than 1,250 square feet would be assessed at a rate of $0.0016 per square foot
Hargardin said the fees would also apply to commercial properties located within the county’s stormwater service area, which runs from Sheridan Boulevard to Schumaker Road, and from 168th Avenue to Interstate 70.
The fee is scheduled to become effective on Jan. 1. It can it be modified by the Adams County Board of County Commissioners, but no specific date is set for consideration.
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