Municipalities may soon be allowed to create storm water utilities without storm water fees counting against their tax levy limits. This pending legislation would declassify storm water management as a covered service, meaning that any new or increased storm water fees would no longer require an offsetting levy deduction.
Since this motion passed the budget-writing committee unanimously, with all 15 members voting in favor, it will likely soon become law. Municipalities that would like to take advantage of the change should prepare themselves to create storm water utilities as soon as possible.
NOW IS THE TIME TO PLAN
Last year, Wisconsin experienced record flooding that caused over $200 million in damages. Given the shifting precipitation patterns, scientists expect this kind of extreme weather to continue. With proper planning and budgeting, municipalities can proactively assess, improve, and protect infrastructure to mitigate damage from future flooding.
While there are no easy fixes, the difficulty involved in achieving flood mitigation makes it even more crucial to find the resources necessary to address these growing problems.
BENEFITS OF STORM WATER UTILITIES
Municipalities can also better tackle water quality, MS4 permitting, and TMDL compliance issues with storm water utilities in place; having dedicated staff and funds to take on these issues will help your community succeed. We strongly suggest that you consider forming a storm water utility in your municipality. You may prevent millions of dollars of damage and disruption to your citizens’ lives.
Our team has helped many municipalities create their own storm water utilities, and we regularly update rates so that these communities can meet their changing needs. To learn more about creating a water utility, please contact an expert at R/M today.
About the Author
Edward F. Maxwell
Edward joined Ruekert & Mielke, Inc. (R/M) in 2017 as a financial analyst. Before joining R/M, he worked in private-sector finance, analyzing capital investments, forecasting expenses and revenue, and crafting department budgets. At R/M, he creates financial solutions for all clients, from municipalities to corporate businesses.