At a town hall Wednesday at the Ben Robertson Community Center, Stormwater Director Jon Whitmer raised the idea of funding the city’s program through a utility fee, which other municipalities charge, topping out at $90 a year in Gwinnett County.
Whitmer told the 20 residents at the meeting that he and his staff have an annual budget of $750,000, funded by ad valorem taxes. The fee, however, would also capture revenue from tax-exempt organizations, he said.
The city has 55 miles of pipes, all of which have been inspected in the last year and a half, he said.
The system services a city of 6,100 acres, of which 35 percent has hard surfaces that cause precipitation to run off.
“We have 4,000 structures and 11 miles of ditches. It would cost $50 million to repair or replace the system,” he said.
Whitmer said stormwater is what “falls from the sky and runs off the property because it doesn’t soak into the ground.”
Also at the town hall, Public Works Director Earnie Via highlighted upcoming work on a couple of SPLOST-funded projects:
* The $1.2 million Rutledge Road and Cathey Lane project, which will begin Nov. 16 and put a signal at Swift-Cantrell Park;
* The $500,000 Cherokee Street and McCollum Parkway intersection improvement project, also beginning mid-November for a possible May completion date.
Joshua Juerrero of the city’s information technology department brought attendees up to speed on a new website that will allow them to pay their sanitation bills online.
“You can view your bill and make payments at Trashbill.Kennesaw-ga.gov,” he said.
The department also offers a deal in which customers who pay 11 months in advance get one month of service free.