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Now browsing: Hometown News > News > Indian River County

Public hearing for storm water fee increase set for August
Rating: 2.67 / 5 (54 votes)  
Posted: 2012 Jul 27 - 00:45

By Jessica Tuggle

jtuggle@hometownnewsol.com

SEBASTIAN - The Sebastian City Council will hold a public hearing on Aug. 22 to hear what the public has to say about a proposed $12 increase to a family's storm water bill going into the new fiscal year.

In an effort to increase revenue to the city by $186,000 for the storm water utility fund in the 2012-13 budget year and moving forward, the Sebastian City Council gave their preliminary approval to increasing the monthly residential fee from $4 per month to $5 per month.

"Critical" was the word Al Minner, city manager, used to describe the need for extra revenue to continue and complete maintenance and replace necessary equipment.

According to Vice Mayor Don Wright, the utility fee has remained unchanged for the past 10 years and Mr. Minner said equipment replacements have been on hold for the past five years.

The time has finally come to ask for more money to get a very necessary job done, council members agreed. The fee is charged to the homeowners in their yearly tax bills and would increase from $48 to $60 should the change be implemented.

Because it is a rate adjustment, the council needs to adopt a formal resolution with a supermajority vote, or four out of five councilmembers voting in favor of the rate increase.

The councilmembers all appeared to be in favor of the increase, given the pressing need and amount of time since the fee had been adjusted.

Mr. Minner also informed the council that a survey of other communities showed currently, Sebastian fees are lower than the average storm water fees of nearby communities by 98 cents.

Area businessman and frequent council critic Damien Gilliams voiced his disapproval of the fee increase, saying no one needed extra taxes at this time and the money should be found somewhere else.

The meeting on Aug. 22 will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the city council chambers.

For more information about city government meetings or to view agendas, visit www.cityofsebastian.org.SEBASTAIN - The Sebastian City Council will hold a public hearing on Aug. 22 to hear what the public has to say about a proposed $12 increase to a family's storm water bill going into the new fiscal year.

In an effort to increase revenue to the city by $186,000 for the storm water utility fund in the 2012-13 budget year and moving forward, the Sebastian City Council gave their preliminary approval to increasing the monthly residential fee from $4 per month to $5 per month.

"Critical" was the word Al Minner, city manager, used to describe the need for extra revenue to continue and complete maintenance and replace necessary equipment.

According to Vice Mayor Don Wright, the utility fee has remained unchanged for the past 10 years and Mr. Minner said equipment replacements have been on hold for the past five years.

The time has finally come to ask for more money to get a very necessary job done, council members agreed. The fee is charged to the homeowners in their yearly tax bills and would increase from $48 to $60 should the change be implemented.

Because it is a rate adjustment, the council needs to adopt a formal resolution with a supermajority vote, or four out of five councilmembers voting in favor of the rate increase.

The councilmembers all appeared to be in favor of the increase, given the pressing need and amount of time since the fee had been adjusted.

Mr. Minner also informed the council that a survey of other communities showed currently, Sebastian fees are lower than the average storm water fees of nearby communities by 98 cents.

Area businessman and frequent council critic Damien Gilliams voiced his disapproval of the fee increase, saying no one needed extra taxes at this time and the money should be found somewhere else.

The meeting on Aug. 22 will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the city council chambers.

For more information about city government meetings or to view agendas, visit www.cityofsebastian.org.




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