MITCHELL – The Mitchell City Council met in a special session Tuesday, to determine the best route to take in regards to a planned stormwater fee for property owners in Mitchell.
Clint Roos with Midwestern Engineers Inc. was present during the meeting, to answer questions from the council, and the residents in attendance of the meeting.
The importance of implementing a stormwater fee would be to raise funds that can go towards upgrades in town and help eliminate the stormwater run-off which ends up at the wastewater treatment plant. Currently, nearly half of the water that runs through the wastewater treatment plant can be attributed to stormwater.
The City of Mitchell has been looking into avenues to receive grant funding for stormwater projects, however, no grants can be awarded to a municipality that does not have a stormwater fee.
According to Roos, there are multiple ways to implement the fee. Among the options available, Roos recommended implementing the fee in part with property tax payments for each property owner.
An example given was with Boonville, IN, where the fees were set up for $5 per residential property per month, and $10 per commercial property per month. Including a $5 monthly payment would add $30 per property tax payment for each residential property, and $60 per year.
Creating a City Ordinance to begin these fees would build up the money that can be used in any matching grants the city would be able to venture into while continuing to replenish the fund every six months.
Roos recommended having Mitchell City officials, County officials, and the city assessor discuss the inclusion of the fee to property taxes, to ensure everyone is on the same page. These fees would be limited to properties within the Mitchell City limits and includes tax-exempt properties such as churches, schools, charitable groups, and government buildings.
Once an ordinance is in place, the city can apply for grants to begin stormwater projects to better the city and would provide the city the opportunity to ensure every new building creates a proper stormwater collection and would allow the city to work on needed repairs and upgrades to avoid flooding, and stormwater reaching the wastewater treatment plant.