Roanoke City Council hears public comments on Storm Water Fees - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Roanoke City Council hears public comments on Storm Water Fees

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ROANOKE -

The Roanoke City Council room was filled with suggestions and confusion on the proposed utility fee.

Many signed up to speak just to ask questions directly to council members.

The fee in Roanoke will be the cheapest in the state of Virginia at 90 cents per 500 square feet of impermeable surfaces like roofs and driveways.

While that will cost the average customer about seven dollars a month, it will vary among all others.

"We don't have it," Susan's Williams said. She's the executive director with the local office on aging in Roanoke. 

She says it will cost their organization 48 dollars per month ---and with recent sequester cuts --its a price they can't afford to pay.

"We would have to reduce services somewhere, we do not have the ability to raise the money from consumers. we have nothing to sell."

While on the flip side --prominent land owners in the city have concerns as well. Members of the real estate investors of Virginia are concerned about the amount of money they'll have to pay --and even pass on to their renters.

But something everyone agreed on is the costly after affects of the July storms on the city and importance of complying with new federal regulations and fixing storm water issues.

For Dan Crawford it's a problem which can't be avoided.

He says storm water will take its toll on everyone,so he wants to get ahead of the situation.

"You contribute to the solution on a level that you contribute to the problem, Crawford said. "I don't see how it could be anymore fair. And of course I'm willing to pay because again, I'll have to pay anyway."

And even the city will be contributing....

Their monthly bill from the utility fee comes in at $18,700.

That's a yearly fee of $224,000.

That will be paid for from tax revenue from city residents --the council says they will not raise taxes to pay for their costs.

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