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Bloomington Officials Propose Raising Stormwater Utility Fee

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City residents last saw a stormwater fee increase in 2003. (Alex Eady, WTIU/WFIU News)

Bloomington city leaders are proposing a stormwater fee hike to boost revenue for infrastructure improvement projects.

Director of Utilities Vic Kelson says the proposed fee would increase from $2.70 to $4.32 for residential customers beginning July 1, 2019. The rate would go up again to $5.95 in January 2020.

“The purpose of the fee increase we proposed is to revitalize our existing programs, repair the systems that we have, and then to open up opportunities for us to do more environmentally friendly, sort of, ‘green’ infrastructure projects,” he says. 

The increase would generate $1.8 million in annual funding for continued upkeep and maintenance of the city’s stormwater systems. The city plans to use nearly one third of that amount to fund green infrastructure upgrades, like permeable paving and rain gardens.

Kelson says the rate hike gives the city an opportunity to transition to eco-friendly systems in the face of climate change.

“There’s a tendency toward more frequent large rain events than we used to have in Bloomington. Managing that with greener infrastructure is something communities all over the country are doing,” he says. 

The Bloomington Utilities Service Board presented the fee increase last year. City Council will review and vote on the proposal this month.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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