Roanoke County stormwater cleanup could impact residents wallets - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Roanoke County stormwater cleanup could impact residents wallets

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Roanoke County continues to examine ways to improve water quality and provide affordable levels of stormwater service. This week, the county's Stormwater Advisory Committee (SWAC) recommended ways to fund stormwater cleanup.

County leaders hope to establish a revenue stream to help reduce bacteria levels in local waterways.

"Who is going to pay for improved stormwater management and how is that going to be equitable" said Tarek Moneir, Deputy Director of Development Services.

Over the past several months, county leaders have worked with the public to come up with ways to fix the higher levels of bacteria caused by stormwater runoff. As a result, officials came up with several recommendations for funding.

"One could be a straight property tax" said Moneir. "So everyone who owns property in Roanoke County which would raise taxes on everyone."

Elected officials could also choose to establish storm districts which allow certain properties, such as non-profit organizations, to avoid additional costs. Other options include stormwater utility fees similar to the plan adopted by Roanoke City.

Moneir said that plan is based on impervious areas which would mean the larger the property the more the property owner would have to pay. County leaders also plan to consider a utility fee rate structure.

The SWAC will make a recommendation to the Roanoke County Board of supervisors. In order to meet guideline, a plan to improve stormwater management must be in play by July 2014.

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