The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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July 25, 2013

Study looks at water discharge

CLINTON — A stormwater utility study for the city of Clinton will be the next step in deciding how $23 million of mandated sewer work will be funded.

At a Clinton City Council meeting Tuesday, City Engineer Jason Craft explained how the study is one way to establish a funding program for the sewer work.

"A technician would compile all of the data of impervious surfaces versus non-impervious surfaces in residential, commercial and industrial areas and then create a rate structure from that information," Kraft said.

He explained that the more impervious the surface, the higher the storm water utility fees would be.

"Do you own a large grassy field with just a small house, or do you own a giant 10 acre parking lot? Which one discharges the most stormwater runoff?" Kraft asked. "Obviously the parking lot discharges more, so, they would pay the larger fees."

Councilman John Rowland showed concern that the results of the study could once again raise taxes for Clinton residents and cited multiple phone calls from the public to support his concern.

"I have received seven phone calls on the storm water utility. People are concerned; they aren't looking for another tax," Rowland said.

Councilwoman Maggie Klaes agreed with Rowland and also received a number of phone calls from residents, particularly elderly, that were worried about increased taxes.

"I've had a couple of phone calls on this today from elderly constituents that feel the storm water utility will cost them more money and will push them out of their homes," Klaes said.

Kraft assured the council that the study is only to show which areas of the city has the most storm water runoff. Once that information has been calculated, then a rate system will then be established.

"(We) are interested in adding taxes to commercial or industrial properties, not adding taxes to residential properties," Kraft said.

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