Fayette eyes charging stormwater fee

At its regular meeting Thursday night, the Fayette County Board of Commissioners will consider a proposal that would lead toward a new stormwater fee being collected from all property owners or tenants, both residential and non-residential.

The commission has been presented with a feasibility study conducted by Integrated Science and Engineering of Fayetteville. The study lists a “significant backlog” of stormwater projects and maintenance on county-owned property and right-of-ways, according to a memo issued to commissioners in advance of the meeting.

Currently, stormwater improvements and maintenance are funded directly from the county’s general fund. If a utility were to be created, the proceeds would be used to handle those tasks and the potential revenue could be used to secure revenue bonds to jump-start the stormwater initiative.

ISE determined that a stormwater fee for a typical home ranging between $12 a year and $72 a year could raise between $288,900 a year and $1.73 million a year depending on what the final adopted fee rate and other details in a new county stormwater fee policy.

The report does not estimate the potential revenue that would be accrued from non-residential properties, though it notes such properties cause more demand on the county’s stormwater system compared to individual residential parcels.

Peachtree City and Fayetteville already charge stormwater fees to residential and non-residential property. ISE is not recommending for fees to be assessed in those jurisdictions. However, ISE calculated potential revenues including stormwater assessments from not just unincorporated Fayette County but also Tyrone, Brooks and Woolsey.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at the county’s Stonewall government complex located at the southwest corner of Ga. highways 54 and 85 in downtown Fayetteville.

ISE is recommending that a stormwater fee be adopted by the county and assessed annually on residential property and quarterly on all non-residential property.

ISE’s report concedes that an increase in the county’s millage rate could be used in lieu of a stormwater fee to address the county’s stormwater issues.

“However, it is our opinion that it is unlikely that this concept is sustainable in the long term given the history of maintaining lower millage rates at the expense of long-term infrastructure needs,” the report said.

ISE is recommending the county’s stormwater fee be assessed at a rate based on every 1,000 square feet of impervious surface on a given lot.

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