Why aren’t stormwater user fees being voted on by the people?

A system of stormwater user fees is not a tax to be voted on. It is a charge for services rendered and benefits received by customers of the City stormwater control system. We recognize that it may be difficult to understand why the City now wants to charge property owners for services that were not previously being charged for. In reality, the City has been paying for the existing stormwater program using General Fund tax revenue, but due to increasing costs, and the increased maintenance and tracking requirements of the new permit, it cannot continue to do so. State law allows a system of stormwater user fees to be implemented by the City Council without a public vote. The City believes it is legitimate to treat stormwater services the same as water, sewer, and sanitation services, where customers pay for services received.

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1. How was the billing for residential properties determined?
2. We heard that you were waiving some types of properties or offering credits. How can this be fair to the rest of us?
3. Why are you collecting money for water, wastewater and now stormwater? Isn't it all the same thing?
4. Is money going to be siphoned off to go to non-stormwater activities?
5. Why not wait to collect fees until later?
6. Why should I pay if all my stormwater stays on my property or in my parking lot?
7. What about property owners that have their own NPDES Multi-Sector or Municipal Stormwater Permit, why should they pay too?
8. What about people on fixed incomes like senior citizens?
9. Are sidewalks included in the calculation of my stormwater fee?
10. What kind of technical help is available for small developments?
11. I heard that the City of Lewiston had a stormwater utility and user fees that was repealed by the Courts. Isn’t this the same thing?
12. Why aren’t stormwater user fees being voted on by the people?
13. Why can’t the City get a waiver from NPDES?
14. Why does the City have to implement a stormwater management program and fees? Aren't there alternatives?
15. How does this stormwater program benefit me?
16. What is the money raised by stormwater fees going to be used for?
17. Do properties that retain and infiltrate some of their stormwater onsite get any credit (reduced stormwater user fee)?