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Roanoke city staff recommends stormwater fee

By Joe Dashiell, jdashiell@wdbj7.com
Published On: Aug 16 2013 10:34:05 PM EDT
Valley View Mall parking lot
ROANOKE, Va. -

The city of Roanoke is facing the threat of federal fines if it doesn't do more to manage stormwater runoff. And next year, the city will likely impose a new stormwater utility fee.  Now, the city is giving citizens a better idea of how much it might cost.

City Council hasn't set the fee, or decided when it will be implemented, but city staff is recommending a fee of $0.90 for every 500 square feet that causes run-off. That includes your roof, driveway and the parking lots of many businesses.

The city says the fee would be among the lowest in Virginia, and could be implemented over two to three years. Business leaders know it's coming, but that doesn't mean they're happy about it.

Wendy Jones is the Executive Director of the Williamson Road Area Business Association. "You know the residents have, in a lot of cases, fixed incomes or aren't making as much as they were," Jones told WDBJ7. "The businesses, bottom line, still aren't back yet. Very difficult for us, so we're very concerned about this."

City Council hasn't scheduled a public hearing yet, but the city is encouraging residents to review the proposed ordinance online.