City eyes utility for storm water

Sequim property owners could pay a monthly utility charge to deal with storm water under a proposal presented to the council at its Oct. 26 meeting.

Details such as who would pay, how much and how it would be collected haven't been worked out.

Councilor Paul McHugh was skeptical of the proposal.

"We don't have overflows and we're not building a storm water treatment plant.

"So I don't see what we are giving to the public besides the opportunity to pay a fee," he said.

Capital Projects manager Frank Needham said the city has 500 catch basins and 1,500 storm water detention areas and there are no funds to repair or replace them.

Aging pipes also cause storm water overflows, he said.

A storm water utility would provide funding for system maintenance and also build up funds for a storm water treatment plant, Needham said.

Needham said it is important to begin dealing with controlling storm water because the council wouldn't want the state Department of Ecology dictating to them.

The proposed ordinance would create a "surface and storm water utility fund" for the money from the new storm water utility charge. The money could be used only for operations and maintenance, capital improvements and public information and education.

Reach Brian Gawley at bgawley@sequim

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