The base fee has not increased from $3.50 since 2015, and cost of operations, employee salary, and fuel has gone up since. Now, the City needs to replace a stormwater utility Vac-Con truck bought in 2008. The increase in base fees will also help pay for annual payments for financing the purchase of a new truck.
When the user fee was established in 2020 it was to finance $750,000 worth of capital improvements annually. For the fee to reach that amount every year, the user fee was recommended to be $250 per ESU (Equivalent Stormwater Unit) annually or $20.83 per month. However, the rate was adopted at $125 annually or $10.42 per month--half of what was needed to fund capital projects--because City Council at the time did not want to overburden residents with a high fee at the very start of implementation. Due to the current economic climate with inflation and supply chain issues, the cost of capital projects has almost doubled such that the annual need is now an average of $1.35 million per year for stormwater capital projects. To fully fund these projects, the fee per ESU would need to be approximately $500 annually or $41.67 per month. City Council voted to increase to $300 per ESU annually, or $25 per month, to balance giving stormwater capital improvement projects a boost in funding while not overburdening residents with an extremely high fee increase.