Centerville moves closer to creating stormwater utility; ISO rating drops

Centerville moves closer to creating stormwater utility

Telegraph correspondentMay 7, 2013 

CENTERVILLE -- City Council moved closer to the creation of a stormwater utility during their regular meeting Tuesday.

Council also received a proposed budget Tuesday for the 2013-14 fiscal year and heard news that the city’s ISO rating, which affects residential and commercial property insurance rates, has improved.

Richard Gruel, of Integrated Science and Engineering, updated council on the prospects of creating a stormwater utility to deal with growing regulations and mandates dealing with the municipality’s stormwater runoff management.

Council agreed to continue work toward the new utility.

Gruel’s firm has an approximate $100,000 contract with the city to see them through the process of creating the utility. The utility will be a separate city entity generating funds separate from the city’s general fund, just like its current water and sewer utility. No stormwater funds will be used for other city purposes.

According to Gruel, annual costs for implementing, operating and maintaining a utility to manage stormwater runoff in the city will come to approximately $207,000.

Funds for managing stormwater runoff will come from new residential and commercial user fees.

Gruel estimated a flat rate for residents would come to about $4.25 a month. He said fees for commercial users would vary based on volume of stormwater generated. Residential fees would generate almost $133,000 and non-residential/commercial users would generate just over $98,000 to fund stormwater management.

City administrator Patrick Eidson presented council with a proposed budget to study. He said the 2013-14 fiscal budget is based on the city’s current millage rate of 11.981.

Total figures put the new budget at a proposed $10.5 million, including the water and sewer utility and all other funds. Budget for the city’s general fund is a proposed $3.9 million.

Council members will review the budget and plan a public hearing June 4 with likely adoption budget on June 18.

Copies of the financial plan are available at city hall.

Mayor John Harley and Councilman Randall Wright applauded city fire and water department officials Tuesday for their work to bring the city’s ISO rating from a 5 to a 3. The change in the rating will mean a change in how residential and commercial property insurance rates are figured.

Wright noted when he became a city councilman 18 years ago the city’s ISO rating was 9. He said Warner Robins’ current ISO rating is also 3 and that Perry’s is 5.9.

Eidson commended city officials in their role making it an ongoing policy to improve the city fire department and other city services allowing the lower rating.

Contact Michael W. Pannell at mwpannell@gmail.com.

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