Southlake Journal

December 30, 2013

Colleyville Council tackles drainage utility fees

City staff presented plans to create a more equitable drainage fee method.

City staff presented the Colleyville Council with a proposal on Dec. 17 to amend the methodology for obtaining drainage utility fees.

The hope is to make the fees more equitable for property owners.

James Hubbard, public works management assistant presented how with today’s technology, the city could adjust how it determines drainage fees depending on how much of a lot does not drain and uses the city’s drainage infrastructure.

“The method is in need of an update,” Hubbard said. “Based on impervious area, the biggest factor in addressing runoff.”

Currently, the city charges residential lots a flat rate of $7, and non-residential lots $10.68-$24.40 an acre, depending on the type of use.

Hubbard used maps to show that similar properties are paying the same rate, while one has less impervious area than another, which means less runoff and ultimately less use of the service.

The fee helps the city maintain its drainage utilities, which includes more than 64 miles of storm sewer infrastructure, bar ditches and its creek/tributary system.

The city would use technology, like lidar, to identify the impervious surface of lots.

A preliminary study done by staff showed that fees from residential properties are “subsidizing the lesser paying non-residential properties.”

Councilman Tom Hart favored the idea.

“It looks likes something where the technology is finally going to bring us where we need to be,” he said.

Councilman Stan Hall shared reservations about how a change would impact residents.

“Someone is going to go down or some are going to go way up,” he said. “That could create problems.”

Councilman Chuck Mogged suggested a tiered approached depending on the size of the lot.

City staff will take the Council’s direct and will return with the discussion at a future workshop.

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