Thanks for the Runoff, Neighbor

How many more multi-million dollar floods will we have to clean up from before we decide to do something pro-active?

This week the Town Council approved a Stormwater Management Utility for Chapel Hill. I know a lot of people will be complaining about the cost to taxpayers - even before it's been determined - but I really think this is an idea that's overdue.

The council's decision to create the new utility was unanimous, but the panel stopped short of approving the recommended $2.03 million budget for the first year of the outfit.

The proposal calls for an annual budget of between $2 million and $2.5 million over the first five years of the program.

The utility would implement controls on and mitigate the effects of stormwater runoff.

As outlined, people with 2,000 square feet or less of impervious surface on their property would pay $45 a year.
- Chapel Hill News, 4/28/04

I fall way under the lowest threshold so I would pay the lowest rate. I can handle $45 a year. Someone with up to 4,000 square feet would pay $90 a year. That seems pretty fair on a house that is probably worth half a million dollars, and may be causing major damage to other people's property.

I still haven't heard anything more about UNC's refusal to partcipate which could make the whole exercise largely academic.

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no question we have to do something about water run off. I live in Timberlyne, and since 59 Magnolia Place or whatever it's called that is behind the Timberlyne S/C was built, we have experienced several episodes of serious flooding through our backyard, one being deep enough and swift enough to float a boat off its boat trailer. My neighbor's utility room flooded with over a foot of water during that same episode. I've lived in the same house for almost 20 years, and never had any flooding problem until that large apartment complex was built. The apartment complex built a retaining pond, but the flooding is till pretty severe at times.

My question is though, what about the businesses and neighborhoods that have spent lots of money to put in stormwater controls? I'm thinking specificallyl about Lowes, which spent a lot of money for stormwater management--can't we figure out some way to give them credit for the work they've already done?

 

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