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Surface Water Utility Information:
The City of Waseca is part of two watersheds the Cannon River and Minnesota River. Of the twelve Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit cities that are part of these two watersheds, ten of these Cities have adopted Storm / Surface Water Utilities (with the City of Waseca and New Ulm being the only two that have not, yet so far. Like the cities that have adopted Storm / Surface Water Utility ordinances, this provides a clear message that the City of Waseca recognizes how important it is to manage surface water to protect people's homes and properties, the environment, lakes, streams and rivers. Storm water causes flooding, erosion and pollution and when heavy rains flood streets and can result in property damage. Surface water runoff picks up pollutants and debris from streets, parking lots and yards, carrying them into our lakes, rivers and streams.
The creation of a utility results in a dedicated fund which can only be expended for the purposes collected, some of these examples include MS4 permit compliance, water quality improvements, storm sewer maintenance and infrastructure and system upgrades to alleviate flooding issues.
Staff believes Surface Water Fees are a more equitable way to distribute property owner charges for surface water programs compared to general property taxes because it focuses more on those that are contributing to surface water issues. Tax exempt entities would also share in the costs as these properties currently do not pay property taxes, but often generate considerable run-off.
The City of Waseca will hold a Public Hearing on the proposed Surface Water Utility Ordinance at the regular City Council Meeting on November 19, 2013. The anticipated implementation date for the Surface Water Utility is January 1, 2014 and property owners will begin seeing the additional fee on their February utility bills.
The City of Waseca welcomes your feedback / comments / questions on the proposed ordinance. Please indicate on your comments if you would like them submitted to public record at the upcoming public hearing.