Shelburne Stormwater Advisory Committee continues work to address stormwater fee

NOTE: This story was updated to correct a detail about the stormwater fee. 

By Mark Kobzik

At the Stormwater Advisory Committee meeting next week, town officials will discuss the future implementation of a stormwater fee and other policy considerations.

“The EPA is setting new standards for drinking water. They are forcing the state of Vermont to adhere to stronger standards and municipalities are having to comply with the state, doing the work of the EPA to reduce the amount of pollution via stormwater that goes into streams and Lake Champlain,” said Shelburne Town Administrator Ann Janda.

In November, the committee recommended the selectboard ultimately create a fee to pay for a flow restoration plan, repairs to the Munroe Brooke Watershed, and other initiatives to meet state-required stormwater regulations.

Establishing a fee would involve a new town ordinance passed by the selectboard after a process that includes multiple public hearings most likely next summer, Janda said.

The intention of the stormwater fee is to pay for improvements that divert stormwater into infrastructure capable of collecting and dispersing the water more safely than letting it just flow directly into waterways.

Currently, property taxes cover stormwater preparedness and runoff. The proposed fee, which is similar to that of other towns in the area, will significantly reduce costs for residential property owners while substantially increasing costs for commercial property owners.

The Stormwater Advisory Committee meets Tuesday at 3 p.m. at the town offices.

 

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