City of Mitchell discuss stormwater fee implementation for city residents

MITCHELL – The Mitchell City Council met in a special meeting on Tuesday, June 21st, to discuss the potential of increasing the city’s water and sewer tap fees, as well as implementing of a monthly stormwater fee for residents.

With the current flooding issues throughout Mitchell due to a lack of stormwater drainage, the addition of stormwater fees would allow the city to apply for grants that could be used for large projects to improve the city’s stormwater infrastructure, as well as fund repairs and minor improvements.

According to Mitchell Mayor JD England, the city had previously applied for three state grants to help with the flooding issue but was denied each time because they did not have a stormwater fee. Currently, the city would be eligible for a maximum of $600,000 in grants through the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.

The city conducted a study in 2017 to identify the problematic areas contributing to the stormwater drainage issues. with a quote of $2.3 million in total for the necessary improvements. With the rise in supply costs and inflation, Mayor England believes it would be closer to $4.6 million to complete the project.

The council did not decide on an amount for stormwater fees, should the city decide to implement the fees. The possibility of a flat rate for residents and a progressive fee for commercial lots, based on the size of their buildings and parking lots was discussed as a possibility moving forward.

Mitchell Clerk Mark Bryant said the city could potentially spend from built up reserve funds or utilize a bond to cover some of the repair costs if the city continues to be denied grant funding for a stormwater project.

The topic will be further discussed next week at 7 p.m. at city hall.