The County Board of Commissioners followed through on the path set at their last meeting, voting Tuesday night to repeal the Stormwater Utility.
“I was expecting dancing in the aisles,” joked Commissioner Steve Brown.
The repeal was first discussed at the April 13 meeting but was tabled to give staff time to formulate a sunset revision that allows additional time for collection of delinquent fees. The next bills would have gone out at the start of October, meaning all residents in good standing will not receive another bill.
Designed to pay for repair and improvement of stormwater structures, the Stormwater Utility has billed just over $3 million since it went into effect January 1, 2012. Over the five years, it has brought in $2,691,316 from the roughly 17,000 property owners of unincorporated Fayette County, leaving close to $400,000 in uncollected monies.
The repeal approval comes with a sunset date of December 31, 2017. That sunset date could be changed later should the Board determine more time is needed to collect those delinquent fees.
Thanks to the voters’ approval of the 2017 SPLOST, future stormwater repair and maintenance will be paid through the General Fund. Brown urged vigilance going forward in maintaining the infrastructure.
“It’s going to be incumbent on us to set the money aside in future years so we don’t have to go begging for a SPLOST again,” he said. “We need to make sure somebody remembers this day in our history and says we don’t want to get back here and lets start putting money aside in the budget to replenish that stormwater infrastructure in the future.”