Vine Grove water users soon will find an extra charge on their monthly water/sewer utility bill.
Vine Grove City Council voted 4-2 Monday to establish a stormwater utility and management program.
Money generated through the utility will go toward capital improvements and long-term operation and maintenance for stormwater needs in the community.
“The stormwater utility will allow us the money to fix lots of water issues the city has been fighting for years,” Mayor Pam Ogden said. “I’m excited to see the improvements.”
According to the ordinance, stormwater quality is degrading because of erosion and the discharge of nutrients, metals, oils and other substances into the stormwater system.
“The public health, safety and welfare is adversely affected by the poor ambient water quality and flooding that results form inadequate management of the quality and quantity of stormwater,” the ordinance says.
It goes on to say management of the stormwater system requires adequate revenues and “it is in the interest of the public to finance stormwater management adequately with a user charge that is reasonable and equitable so each user of the system pays to the extent to which they contribute to the need for it.”
The fee will start at $5 per month per single-family residential property of 3,200 square feet or less. The fee is based on impervious areas, which means any area that does not let the water into the ground.
Council members Bob Woosley and Garry McCoy voted against the ordinance.
McCoy, who has been on the council for accumulative 27 years, said one of the reasons he voted against the utility is because Rose Creek Drive will not be the first capital improvement project with the generated funds.
“Those people of Rose Creek Drive have been coming down to the council meetings and trying to get us to do something, and I promised them that if I was ever in position to help them get that drainage fixed out there that I would,” he said
McCoy said since the beginning of discussions on the stormwater utility he’s said if Rose Creek was not the first problem addressed he was not voting for it.
McCoy also expressed concern for residents on a fixed income.
“Sometimes some of those people have to make a decision: Are we going to eat or take medicine?” he said.
According to the ordinance, the city is required to develop a stormwater quality program through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Phase II stormwater program.
Ogden said they anticipate for the new stormwater fee to be included in October’s water/sewer utility bill.