West Chester Borough will continue looking into implementing a storm water management fee because revenue from the fee could potentially fund millions in necessary capital projects.
“It pays for everything,” said borough council member Chuck Christy at Monday’s Public Works Committee meeting. “Right now we have $3 million worth of projects that are necessary, but can’t be paid for.”
According to Christy, the new storm water fee could pay for street cleaning, pipe replacement and creek bank re-enforcement.
Christy estimates that the new fee would add about three dollars to residents’ monthly sewer bill or an extra $36 annually.
“The best part of this is that it is spread out to everybody,” Christy said, referring to the tax-exempt entities within the borough. “Everybody pays.”
The committee also discussed creating a ratio for properties that had larger areas of impervious surface.
For example, a church with a large parking lot would pay more towards the storm water management fee than a row home with a stone driveway.
“This isn’t something that we can do overnight,” Christy said, adding that it could take between six months and a year before the fee was put in place.
“A huge part of this is going to be education,” Christy said. “A lot of people are going to see this as a backdoor tax, but it’s not.”