City creates fee for stormwater

Xavier Smith • Sep 27, 2017 at 2:06 PM

Lebanon residents and business owners will notice an additional charge on their monthly utility bill in October after the city established a stormwater fee to fund services.

Last month, the Lebanon City Council adopted an ordinance, which established a utility for stormwater management and created an enterprise account and funding method.

Residential properties will be billed at a rate of $1.50 or $2.50 per month, depending on the square feet of each lot. Non-residential properties will be billed $15-$600 per month on a graduated scale derived from the total impervious surface area on each parcel.

Stormwater runoff is generally defined as rainfall that drains off rooftops, driveways, sidewalks, parking lots, roads, compacted soil, gravel and other surfaces that prohibit the rain from soaking into the ground.

Lebanon Public Works director Jeff Baines said the fee creation came from Environmental Protection Agency mandates and less money available in the city’s general fund for stormwater management.

Baines said untreated stormwater runoff flows into the city’s drainage system and eventually into local creeks, streams and drinking water sources such as the Cumberland River.

“We don’t receive any federal or state money to meet the required regulations. We used money from development fees and absorbed the cost through the general fund. However, as many people know, when you dedicate more money to necessary things like fire and police protection, there’s less money for other things,” Baines said.

Baines said the fee aligns with the city’s need to create additional revenue for city services, noting surrounding municipalities have similar fees in place. In Murfreesboro, residential homeowners pay a fee of $3.25 per month, while the fee ranges from $1.50-$4.50 in Nashville.

The city hopes to collect about $1 million annually from the fees, with about $400,000 of that dedicated to federally funded mandates and the rest dedicated to stormwater management, including drainage projects and upkeep.

For more information on the fees, or to report drainage issues, visit lebanontn.org, or call Lebanon Public Works at 615-444-3647 ext. 2325.

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