Flood control project funding debate

Whitefish Bay considers creating stormwater utility


by Mike Strehlow

Whitefish Bay--Whitefish Bay moved a step closer Monday to forming a stormwater utility.  The utility will allow the village to pay for a 15-year stormwater capital improvement plan by charging a user fee instead of funding the project with property tax money.

"With a utility, we actually measure the impervious surface of every property in the village so we can attach a fee to that. So the larger the property, the larger, in essence, your fee, " according to Whitefish Bay Village Manager Patrick DeGrave.

Tax exempt properties such as churches, government buildings, and schools would also have to pay the user fee.  Village officials plan to meet with representives from each of the tax-exempt groups to outline the plan and discuss the possible impact.   Tara Serebin attended Monday's village board meeting.  "It is important that it is spread out among everyone, but I do have concerns especially with  the school district about how the amount of money that's going to come out of their budget is going to affect the quality of the school, to some extent, which in turn could affect my property values. "

There are incentives to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff on your properties.  People who used rain barrels, rain gardens, and other green practices can quality for a rebate.










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