ADCO Task Force Recommends Removal of Stormwater Fee
Source: Denver Post
After six months of debate, a citizens task force urged Adams County commissioners to discontinue a controversial stormwater fee and pay back the $2.1 million in fees already collected.
The recommendations were presented by staff to the commissioners during Monday's public hearing — almost two months past the Oct. 1 deadline commissioners had first set for the guidelines.
It's unclear when the board will take action.
"We do not know what the next steps will be nor what will happen with the program in the future," said Andrea Berg, the county's stormwater program manager.
The task force, which has about 20 members, has been meeting on the matter since May and has been divided. Its five recommendations were drafted Sept. 25 and presented Monday.
Some task force members have criticized the stormwater fee over billing errors, called it a tax and asked commissioners to take the issue to voters instead.
One recommendation — put there by mistake, according to member Thom Stanfield — contradicts the other guidelines by stating the stormwater utility should continue in a minimized capacity.
Commissioner Eva Henry said she hopes to implement some recommendations next month.
The fee, which is based on estimates of how much rain runs off of a property, started Jan. 1 for residents and businesses in unincorporated Adams. It was estimated at an average of $62.64 per year for a single-family home, but some reported bills as high as $900.
Funds collected were meant to pay for water quality and flood- mitigation systems, but projects are now on hold. The fee was capped in April when the task force was created after numerous complaints and threats of litigation. A lawsuit was eventually filed in August and is pending.
ADCO Violates TABOR & Assesses New "Fee"
You will soon pay for an EPA unfunded mandate; It is not cheap!
Join me in the fight.Adams County just imposed a new Tax upon land owners in unincorporated Adams County.They are calling it a fee. It's a tax we cannot afford,and they tried to sneak it through.This TAX is in direct violation of Colorado's Constitution and our Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR). Legal action is likely. I will need your help.Sign up for email updates to stay informed.
The "How To Guide" For Govt. On Funding & Gaining Support for Stormwater Programs
Chapter 4 | Source: Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC)
The best-designed stormwater pollution management plan will flounder without sufficient community support and funding. Community support is often necessary for official government support, although in many of the cases studies the government took the lead and the broader support followed. A major aim of many public education programs (and a critical task for local community and environmental organizations) is to build this political support. An equal emphasis is needed to establish a stable source of funding to keep a program moving forward, once implemented. While the two often go hand-in-hand -- adequate funding almost always requires political support and, conversely, a healthy community consensus on the need for runoff pollution control will generally lead to sufficient funds -- the traditional funding mechanisms available to local governments demand continuous political support, which can be difficult at times. Nonetheless, there are several approaches a municipality can take to establish a dedicated funding source. This chapter describes one of these approaches -- stormwater utilities -- and discusses the authority of local governments to implement them.