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Caledonia Eyes Storm Water User Fee For All Residents

Right now the village pays for storm sewer projects through a line on item on the tax levy, but the Village Board is considering making it a user fee.

To pay for storm sewer projects, the Caledonia Village Board is looking at implementing a user fee that all property owners would have to pay — instead of just the customers in the two storm sewer utility districts.

The Village Board and storm sewer utility districts met Monday night to also talk about merging the Lake Michigan Storm Sewer Utility District and the Root River Storm Sewer Utility District.

Officials also will talk about implementing a storm water fee charge using an equivalent residential unit formula for funding the storm sewer utility commission. The village will likely ask tax-exempt property owners – including churches, schools and non-profit organizations – to help pay for storm sewer projects.

Currently the village funds the projects through a tax levy that applies only to property owners in the two storm sewer utility districts. Now, though, they are looking at doing away with the tax levy and instead charging a user fee so that all property owners pay to fund capital, maintenance, operational and compliance-based projects.

In June, Tony Bunkelman, assistant engineer for the Village, explained to the village board that the village currently has two storm sewer districts, the Lake Michigan District and the Root River District. The Lake Michigan District has 5,633 parcels spread over 5,727 acres and the Root River District has 5,570 parcels spread over 21,800 acres, but 392 parcels are tax exempt and do not fund the district at all.

If approved, the move would be similar to what the village wants to do with the public fire protection charge.

Last week the village board voted to move forward with asking the Public Service Commission to strip the public fire protection charge out of the tax levy and make it a separate user fee so that all Caledonia property owners pay rather than just water customers.

Denise Lockwood April 30, 2013 at 09:23 PM
I have a LOT more coming on this... story should be approved very soon. -- Denise
Denise Lockwood April 30, 2013 at 09:25 PM
@Michael, state law does allow municipalities to fund storm sewer/water projects through what they call enterprise funds, which are not subject to tax levy limits. And as a result, a ton of municipalities have been going to this method of funding over the years.
Denise Lockwood May 01, 2013 at 02:42 AM
OK... story is going to be up tomorrow. My editor and I wanted to work on a couple things.
MITCHELL May 01, 2013 at 03:35 AM
RIGHT ON! WHAT A BUNCH OF COMMIES!
LAURIE from Caledonia May 05, 2013 at 12:51 AM
Some residents don't have sewer .... and shouldn't have to pay.... We need another job to pay for our taxes in Racine!!!! Maybe its time to move out of the county!!!!!

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