COLUMBUS – Columbus City Council approved the creation of a stormwater service for the city at its meeting on Tuesday and will ask voters for permission to charge a fee.
City officials will ask voters in a referendum in April: “Will the city of Columbus storm water utility be allowed to charge customers for the maintenance and operation of management facilities and infrastructure?” rainwater without reducing the ceiling on fees collected? “
A “yes” vote allows the city to collect a fee without reducing the tax levy by a corresponding amount in order to meet state levy limits.
Columbus City Council Chairman Ian Gray said the creation of the pre-referendum utility, which would fund the utility, was doing things in the right order.
City administrator Kyle Ellefson said creating the public service had many benefits even if the referendum was not passed. This would allow the city to generate funds over time for necessary work in the city as well as display the current expenses for the storm water utility in the city of Columbus.
A stormwater utility operates like an electricity or water utility and may spend funds to manage stormwater. The referendum will determine how the funds it spends will be raised.
Other communities, including Beaver Dam, added stormwater services before the state required resident taxpayer approval.