The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District is pushing back the start date of its storm water fee three months to allow more time for resolving legal and other issues. ideastream's Bill Rice has more.
Sewer District leaders voted in the fee in January to pay for hundreds of millions of dollars in stormwater management projects. It was originally scheduled to take effect July first, and is based on the amount of impervious surface area on properties - from the rooftops of single family homes to the parking lots of the largest malls and factories.
The district has gone to court in Cuyahoga County asking a judge to affirm its authority to impose the fee, and several communities and a group of large commercial property owners are trying to block it.
Kyle Dreyfuss-Wells, who is Manager of Watershed Programs for the sewer district, says she doesn't know whether the the legal issues will be resolved by the new start date of October first.
We really have no idea, we're hoping they go as efficiently as possible. We obviously think that the authority for the program is a very bright line and don't have any question about that.
Dreyfus - Wells says the delay is also to give property owners more time to put their own conservation measures in place that will earn them credits to reduce the fee.
Sewer district projects involve overhauling and maintaining aging - and in some cases crumbling - pipes, culverts and other structures that will otherwise continue to cause flooding and erosion.
Bill Rice, 90.3.