Perry enacts stormwater utility fee

dgary@macon.comOctober 16, 2012 

PERRY -- Perry City Council approved Tuesday a measure to enact a $2 stormwater utility fee beginning Nov. 1.

The fee will be charged to any improved property, and it will be on the owner’s monthly utility bill. Vacant properties will not be charged a fee, according to Mayor Jimmy Faircloth.

“It’s never a good time to initiate a new fee or tax,” Faircloth said. “The council and I feel like this is the fairest way to fund this particular issue.”

The charge will be initiated through the establishment of a stormwater utility district for the city. The fee will be used for the installation and maintenance of stormwater utilities such as ditches and gutters.

“These funds will only be used for stormwater utility capital improvements and nothing else,” Faircloth said.

The fee is expected to aid in addressing serious stormwater issues the city could not previously address. Prior to the charge, there was no set source to obtain the money that is needed to aid properties affected by stormwater erosion.

“Without a dedicated source of revenue, you have to depend on the general fund,” said City Manager Lee Gilmore.

Because of property damage and the loss of residents’ homes due to stormwater erosion, Faircloth said the funding issue needs to be addressed now. There has been a lack of maintenance throughout the city, he said, and the council has discussed this for quite some time.

“This is a way for the City Council to have a funding source that is the least intrusive,” Faircloth said.

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