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Storm Water Utility in the Works

The Whitefish Bay Village Board has hired a consultant to create a storm water utility that would charge fees to residents and tax-exempt organizations based on their impact to the village's storm water system.

Whitefish Bay is moving forward with a storm water utility that would charge fees to residents and tax-exempt organizations based on their impact to the village's storm water system.

The Village Board unanimously awarded a $73,810 contract to AE/COM/Crispell, the second-lowest bidder of the four firms that submitted a proposal to design and implement Whitefish Bay's future storm water utility. The firm bid $67,100, and the village added an additional 10 percent contingency into the budget. The lowest bidder, Clark Dietz/Triology, did not meet the village's specificiations.

Village staff hopes to adopt the storm water utility in July. The development of the utility consists of three phases, and under the contract, the village has the option to back out anytime during the first two phases.

Trustees first decided to create a storm water utility in June. A storm water utility will allow the village to pay for the cost of owning, maintaining and constructing its storm water management system, which will receive a $105 million upgrade over the next 15 years.

Under a storm water utility system, all users - including schools, churches and other tax-exempt groups – would pay for their portion of the storm water system's expenses.

A tri-annual storm water fee will be charged based on each property's storm water impact, similar to the way utility fees are applied to water and sanitary sewer users, according to the proposal submitted by AE/COM/Crispell.

The village has already borrowed $50,000 to pay for the creation of a storm water utility. What is spent of the remaining $23,810 will be included in a future borrowing and will be paid for by the future storm water utility, according to a village memo written by Assistant Village Engineer Aaron Jahncke.

Village Manager Patrick DeGrave said he has worked with Crispell on projects in the past, and they did a great job with public outreach.

Bob McBride November 08, 2012 at 01:55 PM
From the homeowners aspect, wouldn't it be better to simply tack this onto the property tax, as (currently, at least) they are deductible from income taxes? As a fee, no such deduction is available, I believe.

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