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Centerville blames growth for new drainage utility fee

SHARE Centerville blames growth for new drainage utility fee

Growth is to blame for a monthly fee intended to maintain and construct storm drains and culverts here.

The drainage utility fee, estimated at $3 to $5 per month for homes and several times that for nonresidential properties such as churches, schools and businesses, was tentatively agreed on by the City Council, said Steve Thacker, Centerville city manager.All residential properties will be charged the same, based on an average amount of residential impervious surface (driveways, sidewalks and other paving) area throughout the city. The numbers are yet to be determined, Thacker said.

Fees for nonresidential property owners will be calculated by taking the residential fee and multiplying it by how many times a property's impervious surface area exceeds the residential average.

Over the past 10 years, impact fees from developers, funds from the county and Centerville itself have been used to divert floodwaters. However, the area has been drastically urbanized since then and millions of dollars in drainage improvements are still needed, Thacker said.

"You have more runoff with more concrete and asphalt," Thacker said.

More culverts under railroad tracks and freeways are needed, and some sections of the four creeks that cross the city need to be put underground. Two of these creeks need detention basins to stop mudflow, Thacker said.

Sid Smith, Davis County public works manager, said several other cities in the county are looking at levying a drainage fee. Salt Lake City already has one in place.

Smith said federal and state regulations aimed at making drainage more environmentally friendly increase a city's costs.

The city is also considering whether to include subdrains in the fee. Subdrains are necessary for residents in subdivisions who have problems with groundwater, and developers originally agreed to come up with part of the funds to maintain them. The city has seen little of this money, Thacker said.

Two public forums will address this issue in August, and before that the council will mail out newsletters explaining the proposal. Fee amounts for properties will be calculated between August and October.